From its famed Swedish meatballs to its weirdly-named furniture, IKEA is pretty much a household name in Singapore.
This is why the grand opening of IKEA’s third branch at the Jurong East Mall (JEM) on 29 Apr drew massive crowds… to the point where people have had to queue for 30 mins before they can enter the store.
From “Kiasu” people to loyal fans of the brand
Perhaps the main reason behind the huge crowds is its free giveaway promotion.
According to the staff at the outlet, IKEA is giving away a free bag to the first 500 customers in celebration of its grand opening.
Due to this, there is a snake-like queue of over a hundred people outside the store even before the store is open.
When interviewed by a reporter from LianHe WanBao (联合晚报), 40-year-old He SuLing (何素玲) said that her entire family are huge fans of IKEA.
They wanted to experience the atmosphere of the grand opening so they’ve queued in front of the store since early morning.
“We queued early so we only needed to wait 10 mins before being let into the store.”
“It’s pretty orderly inside. The staff were there to control the flow of people, and they made sure that social distancing rules are being followed,” she added.
She also pointed out that the dining area on the fourth floor is outfitted with another security scan, and that because of social distancing, the queue here is very long.
“After spending 30 mins, we were finally allowed to enter the area to have our meals.”
Launching an online ticketing system
Within the first 3 hours of its opening, the queue outside the store had swelled to over 1,500 groups of people.
And yes, “groups” as in potentially consisting of more than one person.
Luckily, the IKEA team had a plan B to handle the huge crowds.
They quickly launched an online ticketing system and asked the people present to scan a QR code to obtain a queue number.
Once their turn arrives, they will receive an SMS which will then allow them to enter the store.
People who have gotten their queue number online will also get a free booklet containing various coupons that they can browse first while waiting for their turn.
The store only allows up to 1500 customers at a time, so due to the volume of people there, some customers had to queue up to 30 mins before they are allowed into the store.
Featured Image: Youtube (8world)
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