At least 1,000 people lined up before the nation’s largest Ikea store opened for the first time Wednesday morning in Burbank.
Customers were allowed to line up starting at 6 a.m., three hours before the new store’s official opening.
Store employees cheered and waved balloons at the early arrivals. The retailer offered free sofas to the first 26 shoppers who made it through the doors. The next 100 in line were offered a free armchair.
The new Ikea sprawls out across a 22-acre lot with 1,700 parking spots. The 456,000-square-foot store is less than a mile from the old store, which opened in 1990 and was the Swedish company’s first Ikea store in California. That location closed Saturday night.
The new store has a play area and ball pit for children, as well as activity kiosks throughout the warehouse. The chain’s in-store restaurant, known for its Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce, seats 600.
More than a thousand people wait in line outside IKEA, which opened the doors to its new Burbank location — the largest IKEA store in North America, at 456,000 square feet — on Wednesday.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Shoppers wait in a snaking line for the opening of IKEA’s new Burbank store. Some people started lining up at midnight.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
IKEA sales associates Juergen Isemeyer, from left, Michelle McCracken, Vanessa Melgar and Stephanie De Leon join about 575 coworkers for festivities outside the new Burbank store.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The line snakes around the parking lot outside IKEA’s new Burbank store.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The first shoppers enter IKEA’s massive Burbank store on Wednesday morning.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
IKEA merchandiser Maria Seminiano, left, joins coworkers to greet the first shoppers.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
IKEA sales associates Michelle McCracken, from left, Vanessa Melgar and Stephanie De Leon join coworkers outside as more than a thousand people line up to enter the new Burbank store.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Matthew Noah, left, and Andreas Pantazis join hands as IKEA workers greet the first shoppers into the store.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The first shoppers stream into the Burbank store on Wednesday morning.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
11:40 a.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting from the store opening and more information about the old Burbank store.
This article was originally published at 11 a.m.