I felt like the whole of Bangalore was waiting for IKEA to open. Even two weeks after the opening, it was still crowded. On a WEEKDAY!!! Nevertheless, we spent 8 hours there.
IKEA, Nagasandra, Bangalore is the biggest outlet of IKEA in India. It is maintained as efficiently as it was in Kuwait and Hyderabad. The staff is as helpful and courteous and they happily inform you about the inventory or options for the items you had your eye on.
Anyway, I thought it would be great if we had some heads up prior to our visit (with kids) so that our time there would be more comfortable. There were some things that we noted; good as well as scope for improvement that we could be mindful of before our next visit.
So, here are the 10 things to keep in mind before visiting IKEA, Bangalore:
1 AMPLE PARKING SPACE
You can comfortably take your motor vehicle as they have 2000 free parking spaces (1500 for 4-wheelers and around 500 for 2-wheelers). You can take your trolley to your vehicle and offload your haul.
2 BRING YOUR OWN BAGS (BYOB)
Just like many stores in Bangalore, you are encouraged to carry bags for shopping. IKEA bags are also available but at a price. We kept our bags in the car. We used them only while offloading in the parking lot.
3 ABUNDANT HOME DECOR
Their inventory consists of loads of home products like sofas, library shelves, lamps, bulbs, bed textiles, flower pots (just 250 each), side tables, coffee tables, clothes lines, cushions, wall clocks, trash bins, racks on wheels, kitchen racks, bathroom cleaning items, etc. It’s like a one-stop shop for all your house-related needs. So, if you’re shifting houses, like us, it’s a great place to visit.
4 SMALAND FOR KIDS
There is a little play area for kids aged 3 years to 10 years on the lower floor. The only off-side was that they had only one entry. We had to go back up, take one of the quick exits and get down again. An easier entry would be more comfortable considering that we are keeping the kids there to avoid extra exertion.
We weren’t too keen on going all the way back up, so, we skipped Smaland. We kept the kids busy in other ways. But if you have tiny tots, you can surely try the creche out.
5 THE SWEDISH RESTAURANT & FOOD MARKET
The famous IKEA restaurant had very few options on the menu. Along with their popular meatballs, there was paneer butter masala, salad (with no lettuce), cheesecake, chicken curry and rice, buns, nuggets, potato wedges, soup of the day, etc. Whatever was there tasted good but more food options would be great so that even people who don’t shop would come and enjoy their meals (which was the actual idea of having an awesome restaurant within the shopping center in the first place).
6 ASSEMBLY SERVICE
In case you are a first-time buyer at IKEA, it is vital to know that you will get their furniture in pieces (dismantled) and you have to assemble them yourself at home. There is also an option where you call their fixers to do it for you. You can speak to their staff at the IKEA store or contact them online. Note that the delivery guys will NOT assemble the furniture they deliver to you.
7 ITEMS NOT IN STOCK
There were a few items that we selected which were not in stock. The shoe cupboard, center table, small cabinet, etc. were some things that were not on the racks. We immediately booked them from their online store. One item that was on double display wasn’t available online either. So, keep your options open or use the free IKEA WiFi to check the availability of your items on their online store, too.
8 CLEAN LAVATORIES
This is the most important part for many people I know. Visiting a huge store with a good restroom is much needed in today’s times. Don’t worry, at IKEA, the toilets are quite clean and dry. They are also sanitized regularly. But I found a little difference between the loos at the entrance and the loos after the cashier area. I felt that the latter could be kept as clean as the former. Let me know your thoughts in case you have noticed any difference.
9 PRETTY COMFORTABLE & CHILL
Unlike many places, it was a good thing that despite the crowd, it wasn’t stuffy. I survived the cold, but I would have been more at ease if my limbs weren’t freezing while shopping. So, if you cannot handle low temperatures, it is advisable to wear a thick long-sleeved top or a jacket.
10 CARRY QUICK SNACKS
The restaurant is located closer to the entrance (on the higher floor). We first had lunch and then started shopping. So, once you get down, there is no snacking until after the billing area. If you are visiting IKEA with hungry kids, it may be good if you carry a small packet of biscuits or chips just to keep them going until your billing is done. My kids even took a nap amid our shopping spree.
Hope this information is enough for you to be comfortable during your visit to IKEA, Bangalore. If you have any other suggestions, do mention them in the comments section below!
Update: Our second visit – Like any other mall of Bangalore, IKEA is also overcrowded on weekends. The snake line at the restaurant is never ending. We thought the line would get shorter, so, we decided to stroll around the first floor and have lunch before going downstairs. The line never got shorter, so, we became a part of it and finally had lunch at 5pm. Also, if you are going on weekends, don’t bother about the jacket.