To celebrate the opening of IKEA’s new store in Exeter on May 1o, the Swedish furnishings retailer has planned 10 mini-events and installations in and around the Devon city over the next three weeks.
The ‘Wonderful Everyday’ tour will run from today (Friday April 13) to Thursday May 10, bringing IKEA’s philosophy of ‘experiencing the little things in life that make the everyday more wonderful’ to life.
IKEA Exeter store manager Nick Earle said: “The tour is our way of building excitement and bringing IKEA’s values to life ahead of our store opening next month. It is designed with the local community in mind. We want to bring a smile to the people of Exeter and Devon with unexpected surprises, while giving them a taste of what to expect once the store opens.”
The 10 mini-events and installations are:
- Cathedral Cinema
When: Friday April 13 6pm-8.30pm & 9pm-11.30pm; Saturday April 14 5pm–7.45pm & 8pm–11pm
Where: Exeter Cathedral
What: Catch a screening of ‘Paddington 2’, ‘La La Land’, ‘Coco’ and ‘Dunkirk’ inside Exeter Cathedral. Visitors can grab some popcorn from the IKEA kitchen and snuggle up with IKEA cushions and blankets.
- Fika Time
When: Tuesday April 17 (Okehampton); Saturday April 28 (Taunton) & Sunday April 29 (Plymouth), 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm
Where: Okehampton, Plymouth and Torquay
What: IKEA will give out coffee and cinnamon buns.
- Hot Dog Cart
When: Saturday April 21 (Paignton), Saturday May 5 (Torquay) & Wednesday May 9 (Exmouth), 11.30am-3pm
Where: Paignton, Torquay and Exmouth
What: Ikea will give out hot dogs.
- Quayside Kit Out
When: Sunday April 22 to Thursday May 10
Where: Exeter Quay
What: IKEA will give the quayside a spruce up for spring, with textiles dotted along the banks of the River Exe.
- The Big Cream Tea Break
When: Sunday April 22 2.30pm – 5pm
Where: Exeter Quayside
What: IKEA will distribute Swedish jam and Devonshire cream teas, freshly prepared in an IKEA kitchen, with the first 250 attendees receiving a token for a complementary tea and scone. Local dairy farmers will be providing their own Devonshire cream, and IKEA’s lingonberry jam will be arriving at the Quay on a Viking ship. Exeter Catering School will also run four 45-minute scone making workshops for pupils from St Luke’s Secondary School from 9.30am-2pm.
- The Glass Boat
When: Monday April 23 to Thursday May 10
Where: Princesshay Shopping Centre
What: To pay homage to Exeter’s maritime history, IKEA will work with local artist Roop Johnstone to create his own take on the River Exe Salmon Boat using over 500 pieces of IKEA glassware. The sculpture will be installed at Princesshay Shopping Centre and a donation will be made by IKEA to Exeter Street Art Festival in the summer.
- Shopping Pit Stop
When: Tuesday April 24 to Monday April 30
Where: Princesshay Shopping Centre
What: IKEA will create ‘tranquil zones’ at the Princesshay Shopping Centre, with armchairs, snacks and phone chargers so shoppers can rest, refuel and recharge.
- Station Meditation
When: Tuesday May 1 to Thursday May 10
Where: Exeter St Davids and Central Station
What: IKEA will transform waiting rooms into ‘chill out zones’, full of houseplants and greenery, along with chairs, textiles, music and books. For families, there will also be a kids’ colouring book to teach the Swedish philosophy of Lagom, which promotes a more sustainable, healthy and balanced lifestyle.
- A Lift on Laundry Day
When: Saturday May 5
Where: Kenjo Laundrette and Dry Cleaners, 139 Sidwell Street, Exeter
What: For one day, locals will be able to do their washing in the company of Exeter’s local musicians, along with free washes courtesy of IKEA.
- Exeter by Bike
When: Sunday May 6 9am-11am & 1pm & 3pm & 5pm
Where: Exeter Civic Centre, Paris Street
What: IKEA will run an electric bike tour in partnership with Co-bikes. IKEA will provide all of the equipment, including IKEA SLADDA helmets and hi-vis vests. The tours are available for anyone aged 16 and up.
The tour represents IKEA’s commitment to ‘being a good neighbour in the local community’. Sustainability is a key theme for IKEA, so alongside using biodegradable cups throughout the tour, IKEA will donate all recycled cardboard collected from the events to local artist James Lake, who will create a sculpture that will be left as a legacy to the city and installed at Exeter Library & Phoenix Arts Club.
Nick said: “Giving back to the local area is really important to us, so we’re excited to be working with local talent and charities to celebrate IKEA’s arrival in Exeter and Devon.”
IKEA has invested £80 million in its 29,000sq m branch on Newcourt Way in the Devon city, which will be its 21st full sized IKEA store in the UK and 22nd in the UK and Ireland.