With IKEA's return to Dartmouth Crossing next year some of you have maybe never been. SO when I was up in Montreal earlier this year, I took a few photos.
What do you know? It's Swedish! I have to build things! They have meatballs!
IKEA has changed a bit from the old store at 800 Windmill Rd. (Which was the first in North America) Most stores now are two levels and have a similar flow to them.You start off at the Entrance, which is a large open area, with a few displays, and a prominent escalator beaconing you upstairs. There are also elevators available, and the stores are mobility friendly. There is also Småland in the entrance area where your can leave your kids in a supervised play area for up to 1h.
Upstairs is a giant maze! First, you enter a series of complete setup Living Room/Dens, which leads you to all the sofas, etc. on display, the same idea continues bedrooms, kitchens, offices, etc. Along the way though there are some complete small footprint living spaces that are everything fit in one to show the versatility of their designs. All through the upstairs there are tags on the product to tell you where to pick it up later.
As you get through the giant maze, you get to the children's rooms and toys (I think it's to remind you to get your kids). Then you get to the cafeteria where they offer a selection of meals, and the famous meatballs at reasonable prices. This is also where you will find the upstairs loo.
After you have stuffed yourself with a nice meal and Lingonberry juice, you head downstairs to the Marketplace this is where you buy all the little things, pots, pans, bedding, rugs, lamps, shelving, flower pots, picture frames, etc.
Then you enter the warehouse where you pick up your furniture and flat pack items. Load'em on the cart and off to the checkouts, hiding somewhere in that area is usually is the bargain room where they get rid of things with missing pieces and end of line items. This is where the IkeaHackers shine.
Through to the cash, where you can sign up for IKEA Family which gets you special offers. On the way out they get you one more time with the food hall. A small selection of Swedish food, including frozen meatballs and fresh made cinnamon buns. There are also cheap hot dogs and frozen yogurt cones.