IKEA Beicai Store to Open on June 23, 2011

After visiting the crowded IKEA Xujiahui Store, I am happy to learn that the IKEA Beicai Store will officially open on June 23, 2011.

The BeicaiStore is just 4 km away from my home. The store is basically the same size of the Xujiahui store, and has a equally good location – at the intersection of Hunan Highway and the Middle Ring Road. I am looking forward to visiting the store as soon as it opens. (Well, even for the first day, it is expected to be crowded, based on my experience of the opening of the Xuhui store).


Image courtesy of IKEA official site


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IKEA’s success in China showed the strong growth of the domestic market. It also shows the return of being patience. IKEA started as a small store, and then planned and built the larger one. Then, it started to build the current Beicai store from 2006. At that time, the Xujiahui store was still pretty empty. Half of the parking lots had not been used. With the long term view, and operation like a startup, IKEA finally win big in this raising market.

IKEA, Xujiahui Store Shanghai is Crowded

Wendy, Yifan and I visited IKEA this afternoon, or to be more exact, attempted to visit IKEA but failed because of the crowd.

Below is the picture of the people lining up at the 30 counters, to pay for their items. Yifan and I got an ice cream each and left.

Small IKEA! Expensive IKEA!

About 15 years ago, when IKEA just opened its first store in Shanghai, it was a very small one at the first and second floor of an office building near its current Xujiahui Store. At that time, everything seems so expensive to me (as a college student). They WERE expensive. The Billy Bookcases cost a big portion of my first month salary in 1999, and now, it cut its price to half, due to increase of its sale volume, and maybe change of supplier.

Read more stories about me and IKEA here.

Rain Drops

Look at this rain drops on the window – just like the default iPhone desktop. It is raining heavily now!

OK. That’s it. Yifan is scream and pulling me out to walk in the rain. Well. Good idea. We are going.

IKEA Shenzhen Opens

I was an IKEA fan (from graduation to about age of 28). I am not a fan, but am still a customer for them

IKEA just opened a store in Shenzhen, at European City on April 6.

Hours of Operation: 10:00am to 22:00pm
Tel: (0755) 8602 2345
Address (English): No. 8188 Beihuan Dadao Nanshan District, Shenzhen (Off of Shahedong Rd. in the European City)

It has already entered Beijing (with two stores), Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

IKEA is one example of successful foreign companies in China.

PS. IKEA’s second store in Shanghai will open in 2008 in Beicai – pretty close to where I live.

Yifan Fell Asleep in IKEA

Went to IKEA with Wendy and Yifan, again. This time, we just get there to buy a mat.

This one:

I was an IKEA fan, at least the first time I found my name on BusinessWeek, I was presented as an IKEA fan. Going to IKEA was the best time for Wendy and I in 1997 and 1998. However, even a hardcore fan like me may no longer enjoy the shopping experience as we grow older.

When we managed to go through all the sections (even when we know all the shortcuts in the maze), we are still very tired. We feel more strongly when we waited the long line to check out. What a huge and successful business they have built in Shanghai! Everywhere is full – restaurant (Sweden Meat Balls) is full, and today’s IKEA almost reaches its designed capacity. That is the reason they now have stores in 4 cities, and planning to open another one in Pudong, near my home.

When we finally got a taxi in the rainy Saturday, Wendy complained: “Why this city is becoming more and more unpleasant? What a nice experience in IKEA, but with increased number of customers, it is just so painful to go there.” She is very true. Shanghai is becoming more and more crowded these days.

Yifan Fell Asleep in IKEA

The highlight of the trip was Yifan fell alseep in IKEA. He lean his head toward and Wendy and quickly, he fell asleep. Thanks to IKEA’s “Help yourself” Policy, I found a big bed, and put Yifan on the bed.

He slept so sweet, and so deep! I was with him for about 30 minutes. There are many customers there. They were generally very surprised to find the little boy sleep sweetly on the bed. Some thought it was a toy boy, and when they found out it is real, some shout out. Sometimes, even several people gather before Yifan and saw him sleep. I am a very proud father. At this time, I just found out people generally loves children, especially infants. They also feel sweet when they saw Yifan.

P.S. My rule of thumb: 100% of women or 30% of girls show interest in Yifan when I bring him out. 30% of men, and 0% of boys show interest in Yifan. Well. It is not because of Yifan (a boy). I would say, generally, females are more interested in infants, or children. This is the finding of my 5 months of fatherhood.

IKEA, Xuhui Store in Shanghai

Is IKEA still the IKEA of old days? No. Definitely not. It is already a super market, a crazy, crowded market. I didn’t realize IKEA has been such a great success in Shanghai. I went there, and took some picture.

Parking Lot

IKEA has one of the biggest garage in Shanghai. Look at these pictures. They have 10+ rows of parking lots like this. At the entrance, there is a person who dedicated to stop cars at the gate and allow equal number of cars enter the garage as the cars going out. The once empty garage is now completely full. Long lines appear before IKEA store and jammed the streat. It was free for several years, and now it charges 10 RMB per car. I believe the intention is not to increase revenue. It is to restrict cars from entering the garage.

Inside the Store

The huge store was full of people. Look at these pictures. Want to try the nice sofa? You need to wait for the person to stand up before you sit down. Want to get a storage box? Line up and wait for the person before you to get it.

Business Hour

This is IKEA’s business hour:

It is self-explainary.

Above is the elevator to garage.


IKEA is located at the intersection of Inner Ring Road, and Humin Elevated Highway. It can be easily accessible by Metro Line #1 (Shanghai Stadium Station) and Metro Line #3 and #4 (Shanghai Stadium Station).

From the window of IKEA, you can see the Metro Line #3 and #4. The train is raining across the bridge.

Dining Room

IKEA’s dining room was once empty but now it is full of people. Many people are walking around with plate in hand, just to find a seat to have their meal.

People are paying for their meal.

Interesting Stuff

I like the color paper sheet.

Soft hand towel.

and paper box.

Besides the store inventory format (a term from eBay), they have cooks present how to create Sweden Meatball…

Things are Cheaper

Look at these Billy Bookcase!

We bought exactly the same one – same brand, same size, and same color, at 870 RMB with my first money salary in 1999. NOW, it is only 299 RMB. It is the result of local sourcing.

Kijiji Plate

Look at these Kijiji Plate:

Checking Out

We bought some small stuff, but we gave up when we see the long lines at check out counter. There are more than 20 people in each of the 20 counters. This is the first time we gave up our goods just because of the long line.

IKEA in China is a Huge Success

From an “Super Expensive” furniture store 10 years ago, to the current everyone’s furniture store, IKEA completed its 10 years of journey. It is a huge success. The first time I visited IKEA in 1996 was still as fresh a memroy as yesterday. At that time, there are definitely more sofa in the store than customers.

Ten years. IKEA is no longer my old IKEA.

P.S. It is not allowed to take picture inside the store. I am sorry that I didn’t go through all the processes to ask permission to prepare for this blog.

Went to IKEA Again

I was an IKEA, especially when I just graduated and went to work. A major part of my first few months salary went to IKEA… For example, this was the picture in 2002. As recent as in 2004, I still did Bulk Purchase from IKEA.

Wendy and I went to IKEA again. Maybe, I didn’t visit IKEA in the last one year or so. I am no longer an IKEA fan. Now, most furniture in my home is NOT from IKEA, and my favorite color changed from white, to light yellow, and to brown.

Today, I really didn’t find anything to buy in IKEA’s large store. I know I am no long IKEA’s target customer.

What a circle – in 1998, I could only afford to buy some glasses, and candles in IKEA. Then I bought beds, bookshelf, carpet, TV cabinet – almost everything. In the end, almost 10 years since my first purchase in IKEA, it turned out I only want to buy small stuff like glasses or candles from IKEA. What a circle!

In the 10 years, IKEA started from a small shopping mall to a mega-store. Now IKEA is big, and always crowded with customers.

Look at current IKEA in Shanghai:

IKEA (Shanghai) Pictures

Hey, where are my IKEA pictures? I looked into my picture archives and found some. They were taken one year ago, exactly after the new IKEA store opened in Shanghai.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Location of Shanghai IKEA:

  • At the intersectoin between Cao Xi Road and Inner Ring.
  • Opposite to Hua Ting Hotel.
  • At the Metro Line #1 Shanghai Studium Station
  • If you take bus, find the Shanghai Studium Station and get off board there.

More IKEA archives:

IKEA Becomes Cheap in China

IKEA successfully built the global consistent image of cheap furniture. Now, it successfully bring the same image to Shanghai, China. IKEA furniture is really cheap for local residents.

When I was in university (around 1998), IKEA’s image is super good design + super unreasonable price. We talked about joke that how IKEA can sell the colorful PAPER boxes at 59 RMB. It was ridiculous for most people at that time. We don’t think a paper box is that expensive.

However, IKEA’s products were so appealling to me, as a newly graduated student in 1999 that I spent my first month salary to buy a Billy Bookcase. It was the first furniture I bought. It was about 840 RMB (100 USD), I remember.

At that time, most products sold in IKEA was made outside China. I can seldom see something with label “Made in People’s Republic of China”. Maybe it is part of the reason why they are so expensive. Now, the majority of products there are manufatured locally.

Turning Point

Before IKEA opens the new store, IKEA started to decreases its price. This champaign has lasted for more than one year.

On Oct 21, 2002 (thanks to my blog) that I can still remember when I bought them), I bought some more Billy Bookcases. The same model only cost me about 450 RMB, almost half of the price.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see the same Billy Bookcase drops to 340 RMB already. It is almost the same story for all the other IKEA furniture I have purchased.

The recent IKEA’s on sale campaign is astonishing. A set of flower picture that was sold at 19 RMB now only costs 1 RMB. Hey. IKEA is on sale, as more as 95% off! I believe IKEA intentionally put this product as the first article in the store people can see – so creating an atermsphere of big on sale….

Cheap but…

With the drop of price, unfortunately, is the drop of quality. Before, I never worried taking the bad product home. But now, I have to examine carefully for anything I put into my shopping cart, to make sure it is not broken. I begin to complain the poor quality of IKEA. For example, I cannot install the curtain pole because of the hole is a little bit smaller than required. The newly bought GLANT table has two obvious area of color-difference.. I am not sure whether I have been moving out of the target customer segment (as I was when I just graduated), or the quality does drops.

Something I like in IKEA

  • The underground parking area. It is among the best in Shanghai. I like the colorful pole and clear direction of the garage. It is higher than other garage. The most important thing is, it is almost empty and always free.
  • Icecream. The IKEA icecream is only 1 RMB and is sold at the checkout area. It is so nice to treat myself and Wendy some icecrease after successfully follow the big arrow and go through all the areas of the big IKEA store. It is said that the one way policy is part of the reason why IKEA keeps low price. Since the customers have to see everything once they enter the store, they have to buy something every time. :0)
  • Return. I like the return policy of IKEA. No question was asked. Just give the product to the counter and get money back.
  • Meal. Now IKEA starts to serve lunch and dinner. Ha. I often say, “hey, Wendy, why not have dinner at IKEA?”.

© Jian Shuo Wang

More IKEA archives:

New IKEA Store Opens in Shanghai

IKEA will move to the new store on April 16, 2003.

The new store is much bigger than the old one – 33,000 sqm while the old one is 8,000 sqm. Meanwhile, the seats in the dinning area increases from 50+ to 500. It is the largest IKEA stores in Asia.

I am very happy that the new store is only within 20 minutes’ walking distance from my house. It is also the half way from the place I work in Xujiahui and my house. It is the most beautiful building in the area with the bright yellow and bright blue colors.

The even better news is, a new road alone the big IKEA new store will be completed tomorrow. The road offers me closer path to walk home and I don’t need to go alone the noisy and dusty Caoxi Road.

IKEA – from very expensive to cheap store

When I first came to IKEA, everything looks so expensive – about 200% more than my expection. However, I was really impressived by the simple and colorful design. At that time, the store is almost empty, with only a few customers. A big portion of the customers at that time are expats to Shanghai.

When I graduated from the university, I used the first month salary to buy a IKEA Billy Bookcase. It is the only and funiture in my rented apartment in Meilong. I love IKEA funiture so much even though it costs me 887 RMB at that time.

Now five years have past. As the frequent IKEA shopper (or most of the time as window shopper), IKEA changed its image. It is no longer expensive for me now.

One of the reason is the changing finacial condition of myself – from a just-graduate student to a manager with my own house. It is reason I always attribute to.

The other reason is the real price drop of the articles themselve. I found the IKEA Billy Bookcase is still there, but the price become something like 400 RMB. According to Shanghai Star, it is become of the localization of production.

Pictures of new IKEA


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

More IKEA Furnitures in my Home

“Everyday objects tell interesting stories….” By describing the objects coming into my house, “I’m preserving memories of my time here” – as Scott did in Leaving Berlin.

Yesterday, I bought three IKEA Billy Bookcases and a Bialitt double bed.

Image source: IKEA web site

I have one IKEA Billy bookcase already. I bought that one in July, 1999 using my first month salary. It was twice the current price before Billy became on sale this year. I have to say Billy is very well designed and useful. The interesting thing is, I loved the light color three years ago and was quite sure the light wood color was the best among all the colors Billy series offered. But now, I love the dark one better, so I made the painful decision to switch to the new color series and bought three medium brown Billy bookcase – one 80x202cm, two 60x202cm and one height extension unit.

It took me two nights to assembly the bookcases and the bed – especially the Bialitt bed. It is the most complicated furniture in IKEA I have ever bought.