The first in Korea – IKEA Gwangmyeong
A well known Swedish assemble-it-yourself giant furniture store with striking blue and yellow color building, IKEA, has finally hit the shore of South Korea, and will open its door on December 18th 2014 in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do!
Founded in the year 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad (17 years of age by that time), the first store was set up in Smaland, Sweden and then began to grow in business when they opened the first store in Norway, outside of its home country and not too long later it began spreading to other parts of the world.
Although not as developed as US or Japan, Korea can be said to be developing at a rapid speed and while being a rather developed country, which is much more than Malaysia is, I was kind of startled by the news of the first “soon to open” IKEA store in Korea since I would not have thought that there wasn’t any in South Korea as of today yet.
Located at a walking distance from Gwangmyeong Station which is easily accessible by KTX train, IKEA Korea comes with more than 50 showrooms where by visitors could stretch out on a bed, see how many people could fit on a particular sofa, or just be charmed by those simple yet beautiful interior designs.
While it doesn’t provide the same kind of facilities like in some countries, IKEA Korea comes with a Smaland in it which visitors could drop their kids off while they do their shopping. However there are a few restrictions to use this facility which can be seen here.
Walking too much or draining your brain thinking what you should get for your home? Similar to other IKEAs around the world, IKEA Korea has a restaurant and bistro inside it as well where you can drop by it and have a break before you start again.
However, there have been reports regarding the crazily high priced products in the Korean store which caused the locals to go on a protests towards the company. As compared to the products sold in the US, the prices in Korea are almost doubled up. Hopefully there will be a solution for this matter to be solved by the time they open their doors to the public.