So you’ve been to IKEA in Rhodes (Sydney), that’s a big store. You’ve checked out IKEA Tempe (Near the Sydney Airport)? – that’s huge. Well add a couple of football fields worth of flat-pack and you can start to imagine the scale of the world’s largest IKEA, just outside of Stockholm in Sweden.
The Tempe store in Sydney is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – with a total area of some 39,000 square meters it’s huge. The Rhodes store in Sydney is split over a couple of levels and both of them follow what is an IKEA store tactic of pushing you through the store via a set pathway which weaves and winds through all the various areas.
About 15 minutes outside of the centre of Stockholm in Sweden is the Kungens Kurva IKEA store, this takes the whole concept to a new level. Several levels in fact.
Over 16,000 square meters bigger than the Tempe store, this is the world’s largest IKEA.
From the outside, the size is not really evident. It certainly seems larger than Tempe but the plain blue design masks the true scale inside.
Similar to other IKEA layouts, when you walk inside you walk straight on to a set of escalators which in this store take you up three levels. That’s right, this store has four floors – although I’d argue it’s actually more like 7 and I’ll show you why shortly.
Once at the top on “Plan 3” or “level 3” you find out how this is going to work. Perhaps more “organised” than the random weaving around you do at the Sydney stores, The world’s biggest IKEA at Kungens Kurva is a circular design, so each “floor” is a circle with one “corner” expanding out with more floorspace.
You can still get very lost though, walking round and round in circles you can easily miss the ramp which feeds you down onto the next level. Yes, there are escalators between the levels, but when you’re pushing a trolley around browsing randomly you’re not taking the escalators.
While officially there are four levels, a pedant would perhaps suggest there are seven, because level’s 1, 2 and 3 have a centre circle section which is about two foot lower than the main circle and you have ramps and stairs down into them. But, for the sake of it, we’ll stick with four levels.
Because of the circular nature of the store and the sheer number of levels, it actually feels a whole lot smaller than it really is – quite strange actually. However when you get down lower in the store and look up, it starts to really become clear how big this place is.
Like any other store, getting out isn’t easy. You’ve got the weaving through the maze of smaller items like plates, cups and loads of other things before you’re even close to the checkouts.
The sudden shift from store to warehouse is very similar to ever IKEA I’ve been to before but like everything else here, its’ just bigger.
Same with the checkouts – huge.
IKEA Kungens Kurva isn’t exactly a tourist attraction, to be frank, there’s nothing here worth coming all this way to – other than to line up for the meatballs at the cafe, because it’s not like you’re going to take a flat-pack set of shelves back home are you?
There is more than one cafe here though – on one of the upper levels a smaller “coffee shop” is ideally situated to give parents a bit of a break when the kids are starting to nag you.
But despite not being a tourist attraction, if you’ve spent as much time shopping at your local IKEA as I have, and you’re within cooee of Stockholm, it’s worth it just for a quick sticky-beak and a meatball lunch.