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IKEA Columbus' Grand Opening Attracts Thousands

Shoppers walking around an IKEA chair showroom in the new Columbus IKEA.
Adora Namigadde
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Shoppers walking around an IKEA chair showroom

Today's the opening day for Columbus' new IKEA, the first in Central Ohio. According to the furniture store and restaurant, thousands of people came out.

Live musicians and face painters greeted IKEA costumers who woke up in the early hours of the morning to get a good spot in line.

Some customers were up at 4:30 a.m. Felicia Andes did them one better, and was camping outside the store since Monday. That made her the first in line, and she was rewarded with one of the stores many 'opening day' deals.

“I get a free couch! And move-in! So I figured I’ll shop first and get that last,” Andes said.

A team-building portion of IKEA staff helped organize games and icebreakers for people who camped outside.

“They gave us like hot coffee in the morning, there were cinnamon rolls and it was amazing. It was like camp,” Andes said. “I had a whole tent and a blow up mattress. And they had really nice restrooms.”

Jack Tang said he came out to explore the store because he had nothing better to do.

“I had nothing to do this morning so I was like, ‘Eh, I’m gonna text all my friends and see who is gonna come.’ Didn’t really look at anything yet, but this couch is pretty comfortable,” Tang said, referring to a couch in a showroom he was sitting on.

First-time IKEA shopper Rita Stupack was happy traffic on the way to the store wasn't as congested as she had expected.

“Luckily there’s not too many people here. The weather, I think, kept them away,” Stupack said. She and two friends made the grand opening a friends outing.

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Credit Adora Namigadde
Rita Stupack visited the Columbus IKEA with two friends on opening day. She is a first time shopper at the store.

IKEA representatives says many shoppers came opening day for the deals and to experience the excitement, but that there will be more serious shoppers this weekend.

The first 44 adult customers received a free sofa, and the next 100 received a free chair. Customers born June 7 received a 44-dollar gift card.