Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Quick Tour of IKEA Memphis

Today's post highlights Shelby County, TN, retail.

Happy 2017, everyone! It's been almost a month now since the occurrence of arguably the biggest retail event in the metropolitan area last year - the opening of IKEA Memphis! So, if it's such a big deal as I claim it is, then why on earth hasn't it been featured on the Mid-South Retail Blog yet?! In this post, I attempt to rectify that... albeit quickly, through a very short photographic tour. I visited the megastore for the first time last week, and let me tell you, it was definitely an experience! I was able to get only a few photos, though. Nevertheless, those are all featured below...

The store's front façade. If it looks big in this view, you should realize this picture conveys nothing close to the entire size of the building! The store is HUGE.

The floorplan of the store is laid out in numbered sections, so that you can follow them through in order all the way to the exit. (More on that later.) Up first are the showrooms, where you can browse through furniture laid out in displays either akin to the one pictured above or more tastefully organized into examples of how rooms could be decorated with IKEA merchandise.

Beyond the showrooms is the IKEA café, which serves some pretty good food cheap! Naturally, I tried the famed Swedish Meatballs :P  Shown here is the "pay here" sign for the small grocery section adjoining the café. (Yes, you read that right: there's even a small grocery section here!!) I thought this sign in particular was interesting because it reminded me - being a retail geek, of course - of Walmart's latest décor package. See for yourself.

Past the café, you enter the self-serve furniture area. As you're walking the showrooms, you're invited to take down item numbers and such, and then (after a pit stop at the café, haha!) you're encouraged to track them down in this department, hence the phrase "You're about to have your hands full" printed on the wall here! I was especially pleased with how this photo turned out.

And here it is: a glimpse into said self-serve furniture department. It is nothing but massive! There are 40-something aisles; this shot takes a look from near the end back down to where we saw that cartwell, just around the corner in the background to the right in this view. Major warehouse feel here - a stark contrast from the showrooms!

At the checkouts, I decided to snap a pic of one of the register lights - one that wasn't open, so that I wouldn't look suspicious, of course. Equally naturally, I chose to photograph register 12! Though I didn't upload this photo to my flickr account, it joins my album of 12s in spirit :P

You can see earlier in the post we entered here in the daytime, but by the time we had left, it was night! This shot is of the exit - located right next to the entrance - and features a billboard sized advertisement for those aforementioned Swedish Meatballs, too.

A nighttime neon shot of the store's signage as we take one last look at its exterior. I was also proud of how this photo turned out, especially since my phone rarely likes to cooperate with nighttime shots!

Before leaving, I made sure to grab a pamphlet to showcase on the blog also. These are readily available throughout the showroom portion of the store - along with those branded golf pencils - and allow you to make notes regarding item numbers (as mentioned earlier) with dedicated spaces on the back of the pamphlet.

Inside the pamphlet is this flap showing a store overview of IKEA Memphis. This should give you some idea as to how the store is laid out. Once you enter, you kind of snake through the entire right side of the store to the back, and then return again to the front by traversing the store's left side. This explains why the entrance and exit are so close together! (Apologies for the crooked picture here.)

Despite how open the floorplan might appear in the diagram shown previously, it's actually fairly difficult to navigate, at least on your first visit. As long as you follow the arrowed paths, though, you'll be okay. The folded-out full interior of the pamphlet, shown here, also helps guide you through all the numbered sections to find what you're looking for.

So I hope you enjoyed that quick little tour. It wasn't much, but rest assured there's much more to see (and then some!) if you actually visit this store in person!! IKEA was definitely a major "get" for Memphis, and I know Memphians are proud to host the store, the Swedish chain's first in the state of Tennessee.

If you can remember back to my previous post (the last one of 2016), I mentioned how I hoped that this month I would be showcasing fellow flickr member Memphis Retail's photos of IKEA Memphis in the making. Obviously, as you can see, that wasn't the case. That's because Memphis Retail has graciously agreed to write his own post featuring his pictures of the store, both under construction and past the grand opening! That'll definitely be a cool post to read, and I invite you back to see it once it's posted in the future. :)

In the meantime, if you'd like a more extensive tour of this store's interior, there are some online slideshows you can check out, such as those posted on the respective websites of the Memphis Business Journal and WMC Action News 5.

That's what's going on at IKEA Memphis... until next time, be sure to check out today's other blog post, and have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell


  1. Neat! I've never been in an IKEA (even though there's one within 10 minutes from work) and don't know that I will ever go, though now I'm curious. Great photos, too!

    1. It's definitely an experience! Now that we've gone once, I don't know that we'll ever truly have a reason to go again. (Full disclosure: we had an idea for a specific piece of furniture in mind, and when they didn't have something satisfying that, we settled for something else - and once we got it put together and in place, we didn't like it, and had to actually go back and return it!) Still, it's worth it just to walk around and enjoy the experience, even if it may not fulfill one's shopping needs.

      And thank you! :)

  2. I've never been to an IKEA myself either (although there is one in Orlando), however I mostly want to visit one just to experience the cafe (which people always tell me is very good) more so than the furniture!

    1. I can't blame you on that, haha! Even if you don't have a need to shop for furniture, I still think IKEAs can be treated kind of like attractions. And though I only got the small side of meatballs, I think the whole meal - and anything else at the café, for that matter - would be really good!


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