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We knew the people of the UK loved IKEA, but scenes today showing outrageous queues outside the homeware stores on their first reopening since March prove our love really knows no bounds.
Last week, the Swedish furniture giant announced it would be reopening a number of stores across the UK from June 1st with reduced hours, enhanced cleaning and safety precautions, and social distancing rules in place.
Eager to get their flatpack furniture and Swedish meatballs before anyone else, shoppers began lining up at dawn today ahead of the stores' 10am opening and there have been reports of miles-long queues ever since.
Shoppers at an IKEA in Wednesbury reported queueing since 5.45am to get in, while footage from the Wembley branch shows tenfold queues curling round the carpark and a video of a branch in Belfast show the queue stretching for miles down the road.
Over on Twitter, one shopper joked: "Selling my place in the #IKEA queue. Bid start at £10."
"What could want so urgently from Ikea people really need to get a life," another spat.
"Ikea Exeter re-opened today. Just took my friend there to start her new job. The car park is full, very long queue to get in the building. What is so important and urgent to make you want to queue for ages to get into Ikea FFS?," another tweeted.
Wednesbury's IKEA reopens at 10am today and the queue is already across one side of the car park. I spoke to one customer who started queueing at 5.45am this morning - she is now first in the queue pic.twitter.com/mLp4uqEnA4
- Dayna Farrington (@DaynaF_Star) June 1, 2020
Queue to get into Ikea, near Belfast. pic.twitter.com/pg3MWPQWzJ
- Mark Simpson (@BBCMarkSimpson) June 1, 2020
Selling my place in the #IKEA queue. Bid start at £10. #reopening pic.twitter.com/vPgz1KVN56
- PrisonnedSoul (@prisonnedsoul) June 1, 2020
The queue for IKEA Wembley today?! I only wanted to get a desk to finish my exams on. What on Earth do this many people need?!?!?! #IKEA pic.twitter.com/2fxeidhIEE
- Alexi Norris (@AlexiNorris) June 1, 2020
The full list of stores opening today are:
Announcing the news last week, in line with the government's new lockdown measures which allows shops to open, IKEA said: "To ensure a safe shopping experience we ask that if you can, please shop alone.
"Only bring one other person from the same household, if you need special assistance or if you need to bring your children with you.
"There will be a queuing system outside to manage entry into the store.
"We'll have co-workers and signage throughout the store to help you stick to social distancing guidelines."
As much as we're dying to get hold of some new lampshades and photo frames, we reckon we'll wait a week or so until this all calms down...
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