MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The wait is over for South Florida fans of the Scandinavian furniture and home furnishings retailer IKEA.
The company’s newest store in Florida, just west of the Dolphin Mall at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Florida’s Turnpike, opened at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.READ MORE: Miami Federal Judge Refuses To Block Gov. DeSantis Ban On School Mask Mandates
Some people camped out in front of the store since Monday just to be the first inside. For good reason.
The first 39 adults in line at the Grand Opening received a free Ektorp three-seat sofa. The next 100 adults in line received a free Poang armchair and the first 100 children will get a free heart-shaped soft toy. The first 2,500 people to enter the store will receive a random mystery prize with an IKEA gift card or voucher for food item.
In addition to the freebies, the store also created jobs.
“It’s a very exciting place to work, I have been looking for this opportunity for over a year,” said Elisabeth Mondes. “My specific position is exchange and returns.”
When asked what did the job mean to her, Mondes replied “Everything.”
Mike Jones, a retiree, is thankful the company hired him.READ MORE: Miami Police Searching For Person In Car Dealership Arson Attack
“I’m a greeter at the front door so I’m probably the first person you are going to see when you come here,” said Jones.
“You can start off working in food service or interior design, transfer to human resources or sales and actually try a different location here in south Florida or around the world, it’s a gateway to a career,” said IKEA’s Joseph Roth.
Sweetwater Mayor Jose Diaz said the new store has been and will continue to be a real economic boon to the city.
“We’ve received over a million dollars in fees like the permits and licensing fees for the store,” said Diaz, “We expect the city is going to receive around $700,000 a year in sales taxes.”
The new store features 10,000 exclusively designed items, 44 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a 600-seat restaurant, according to a statement from the company. Other family friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store and preferred parking.
The IKEA Miami, which has nearly 1,500 parking spaces, is the company’s second store in South Florida, their other one is in Sunrise off I-595.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA currently has more than 350 stores in 44 countries, including 39 in the U.S.
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