Dane and I finally went to Ikea Philippines as the hype has subsided a little since it opened its doors almost a year ago. It’s a timely visit as we are also furnishing the home we’ll live in after getting married.
Our Ikea journey started around 10:30am at the ground floor entrance at the corner of Ocean Drive, right beside the Mall of Asia.
We made our way to the fourth floor of the building where the Showroom was, aka the nice, decorated make-shift rooms that Ikea created to inspire you (read: rope you) into decorating with their huge selection of furniture and knick-knacks.
Fortunately, we were given a bit of an idea already of how shopping in Ikea goes by our wedding godparents who went there just a few weeks before us. Their Showroom on the fourth floor is the first stop and you’ll exit to the third floor called Market Hall where you can find the items you liked in the Showroom so you can check them out and take them home.
The short version to answer the title is: “It was a tiring long walk” is an understatement.
What we learned from our first Ikea shopping trip
There’s a long line for Ikea Swedish Bistro
The starting line to get into the Ikea Swedish Bistro is just by the entrance of the Showroom.
The Bistro opens at 9:30am. The video below is on a Sunday around 10:30am. By the time we got out of the maze, it was around 2:30pm and the line continuous to build.
For the same reason, we weren’t able to eat there anymore as the line was still too long for our hungry stomachs to wait for.
It’s a maze
Starting with the biggest elephant in the
room maze, Ikea’s concept is having everyone start through only one entrance and end in only one exit. Everyone goes through the same route, strategically designed so you go from room to room without walking against everyone else’s direction. Some areas are also a bit bigger to showcase different furniture as standalone items instead of inside one of the decorated makeshift rooms.
Sure, there were areas with “shortcuts” so you can shorten the route to the next area, but the place is gigantic and I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.
It’s a looooooong walk
Despite the Showroom only being one floor and the Market Hall is another, it’s a tiring walk that I didn’t expect. It took us about 3 hours to finish the Showroom alone, though we did take a long time in some areas. We didn’t even check out some areas we knew we had no agenda, like those meant for kids.
There’s so much inspiration
Ikea has decorated the makeshift rooms in a variety of designs suitable for different tastes. This means that everywhere you look, you’ll find something that fits your needs, especially if you’re at a loss for how to spruce your own space.
Prices are visible and the tags tell you a lot
Prices are visible in the Showroom and Market Hall for items they sell, making it a haven for introverts like me who dislike conversations with staff who follow you around while you shop.
Aside from the price, the tags contain details about where you can find the items for check out.
Ikea’s orange tags point you where exactly you can pick them up and take to the check-out counter on the third floor and take them home directly.
Ikea’s yellow tag asks you to contact a staff at the third floor to create a Sales Order—a piece of paper breaking down your purchases and the total that you take to the cashier for payment. Items with yellow tag will need to be pick-up from the Merchandise Pick-up area on the same floor.
Some tags also contain a small note that says it’s out of stock.
Use the Ikea Shopping app
You can take photos to record the items you’d like to purchase. But Ikea also has a shopping app that lets you scan the orange and yellow tags in the area so you can add them to a virtual shopping list.
The Planning Studio is heaven sent
The Planning Studio is an area in Ikea that lets you easily plan your kitchen design, wardrobe projects, and bathroom solutions. This area displays the parts of their existing lines such as selecting the doors or even the knob, so you can mix and match them depending on your needs and tastes. You can also get one-on-one help with your planning from one of Ikea’s staff.
We appreciated Ikea’s Planning Studio as it let us easily visualize our ideas using the easily accessible selection available. In fact, we decided to go this route in executing our shoe rack idea.
You’ll have to bring your own bag for checkout
Ikea doesn’t provide a bag for your items when you purchase. So it’s either you bring one from home, or you purchase one of their iconic blue or yellow bags for sale as you go around the facility.
Get items delivered
When purchasing items, you can opt to bring them home or set a scheduled delivery through the information counter. The same counter you go to for buying yellow tag items.
Ikea’s delivery service starts at ₱170 for Metro Manila for parcels (smaller sizes) and ₱600 for truck delivery (bulkier items). Price varies depending on city location. Bur for truck delivery, you can order one or ten items and the delivery will be the same for truck delivery. Perfect for bigger items that will be difficult to transport.
Keep in mind, however, parcel delivery can’t be scheduled and will be received within 2-5 days in Metro Manila. The truck delivery can be scheduled on a specific day within a week of your purchase. The same as when checking out items from their website.
Daniel and I were charged ₱900 for the sofabed and large office desk we ordered to be delivered to my home in Binondo. While our online order of another cabinet unit and several smaller items like curtains and pillows was ₱600 to be delivered to our new home in Mandaluyong. This was extra convenient for us as we don’t have a car.
See you again, Ikea
Ikea is filled with lots of items that it didn’t feel like we were able to maximize our visit. I also wasn’t able to take as much photos and videos as I’d like because I was having too much fun checking stuff out. It was a productive day for us as we were able to secure some of the major items we were still missing in our new house. During our next visit, we can focus on decorating and completing our space to turn our house to our home.