As anyone who’s ever been to IKEA in Malaysia knows, it’s kind of a big deal around here. From the beautifully curated showrooms to the meatballs and Instagram-able warehouse area, there’s a lot that keeps the crowds coming back every week. It’s no wonder then, that the IKEA Batu Kawan opening in Penang drew crowds from all throughout the Northern region, and resulted in a jam stretching 1km long!
Penang’s first ever IKEA outlet opened its doors at 10am yesterday (March 14), but enthusiastic customers already started queuing up long before that, some as early as 7am. Three of them were Jahziah Mohd. Hamid, Normah Kechot and Norlaili Hussin, who travelled over 300km from Gerik, Perak, and stayed at a hotel nearby, just to ensure they could be at the furniture store at 7am. According to Utusan, they queued up for a total of 3 hours, as the store only opens at 10am. That’s some ironclad dedication right there!
That said, they were still no match for Norhamidah Jusoh, who also came from Perak and took leave with her child to make it to the opening. Her efforts were well rewarded, as Berita Harian reported that she ended up being the outlet’s first customer of the day!
With the great lengths that people went to to patronise this outlet, it’s no surprise then that the traffic jam stretched to great lengths as well, going as far as 1 kilometre! According to Oriental Daily, the most congested area was concentrated along Persiaran Cassia Selatan 8, although it is unclear how long the jam went on for.
The outlet is also the second biggest of its kind in Malaysia, occupying 43,678 square metres of retail space. The top spot goes to IKEA Tebrau, which comes in at a whopping 46,713 square metres. To accommodate the influx of visitors, IKEA Batu Kawan is equipped with 1,955 parking lots and a free shuttle bus service that travels between the outlet and Penang Design Village.
Parking is free from March 14 to 17, after which there will be a RM1 fare for the first 3 hours of parking. Visitors who make purchases can also enjoy subsidised parking for the first 3 hours.
For those of you who have yet to visit an IKEA store, would you be willing to brave the crowds to do it? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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