Slideshow: Ikea ready to open Sept. 30
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A sign greets visitors to the main entrance of the Ikea store at Vandeventer Avenue and Forest Park Avenue opening 9 a.m. Sept. 30. The 380,000 square-foot store is the Swedish company's 41st U.S. location.
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Mini Swedish, American and Missouri flags sit on tables throughout IKEA's second-floor restaurant. Larger flags will be raised when the Swedish company opens its St. Louis store. The 21-acre property is one in a handful of the company's urban locations.
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A view of Ikea's 450-seat cafeteria-style restaurant, where customers can select dishes from Swedish and American cuisine. The windows, left, offer a view of Saint Louis University's campus and downtown buildings.
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Ikea's well-known Swedish meatballs are offered at the second-floor restaurant.
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Tags and labels for furniture and other items are often printed in both Swedish and English.
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Ikea shoppers can customize furniture plans for a room at one of the computer stations inside the store. IKEA hired 300 people in St. Louis for the store's opening.
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Store manager John Achillea moved to St. Louis in January to oversee the store's operations. The London native started with the company back in 1996 in the U.K. and most recently worked as a store manager of the Long Island Ikea in Hicksville, N.Y.
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Toys for children are spread throughout the store. Achillea said they are meant to help parents if they need to take time while shopping.
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Signs to help guide customers through the three-story, 380,000 square-foot store. The sign on the right was designed to mimic metro station maps, and shows the categories of items offered along the store's linear setup.
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Achillea said that as Ikea expanded globally, the Swedish company decided to use easy-to-understand images on labels rather than print multiple languages.
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A label for LED light bulbs with light displays in the background.: The St. Louis store is IKEA's first of its size to operate on and sell only LED lights.
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The warehouse is on the lower level of the midtown IKEA store. Achillea said customers can go directly to the warehouse to pick up items once they become familiar with Ikea's catalogue.
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More than 4,000 solar panels sit on the roof of IKEA store in midtown. The Swedish company boasts that the roof holds what it says is Missouri's largest solar panel display. Visible in the background is the green rotunda of the Cathedral Basicila.