Korea Expat BLog

iKEA GwangMyeong Opening Day

I vividly remember the I first visited KTX GwangMyeong Station in April 2004 then it first opened . it is not even in the named-City of GwangMyeong, and cannot begin to fathom why they built a humongous train station out in the middle of no-where . it is a huge square-shaped glass palace : virtually empty inside aside from its supporting pillars . taxis were awaiting in a long-line hoping some-one would get them out of their boring misery, every time a train stopped-in – ideally to fetch a foreign passenger to inCheon international Airport ?

ofcourse on-the-map : it is well South below the terminating YongSan or SEOUL Station far up North .. so if you are coming from Southern cities such as GwangJu, DaeGu, Busan or Pusan : you might think it might be better to hop-off here and get a ride if you are headed for the Southern portion of the Capital . but wrong, as a taxi is about the only transportation and cost over W40,000 to KangNam (rightfully translated “South of the River”).

albeit the classic Kevin Costner movie : Field of Dreams 1989 : “build it, and they will come”

now a happy Decade later : GwangMyeong KTX Station has transformed into an unprecedented mammoth shopping complex out-scaling the still-new Centum City Complex, far South-East of the Korean Peninsula : near the beaches of Busan or Pusan . built (giant) wall-to-wall among early established Lotte Premium Outlet and CostCo, there will also be a Westin Hotel opening to house those who opt to shop over-night 😉 and this is the Northern half-block of the station as South consist of start-up companies’ business blocks much like GaSan Digital Complex introduced earlier .
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iKEA Korea began operation by opening their brand-new goliath store partially on their “employees’ family and friends Day” December 13 Saturday earlier when the still-large store was conjested that people had to wait a good hour at the counter to check-out . then on their Press Day on December 15 Monday : to let selected media have a peek into their first branch on the Korean Peninsula – sought to be the largest in Asia 0o0

 

[ BASICS ]

  • Grand Opening : December 18 Thursday 2014
  • Open Hours : 10am ~ 10pm
  • Closed Holidays : one day each on Lunar New Years and Korean ThanksGiving (as these national holidays take three days off for people to travel back to their home-town)
  • Address : (old) 500 ilJikDong, GwangMyeong City, GyeongGiDo, South Korea
    (new) 17 ilJikRo (423-090), GwangMyeong City, GyeongGiDo, South Korea
    as the whole of South Korea switched to a new address system from January 2014, but the old one is more easily approached by even the Post Office !

 

[ TIPS ]

  • You can sign-on for their family-card membership at their strangely spacious-but-functioning Official Website .
  • no On-Line shopping is previewed for now, but you can browse from their down-loadable Adobe Acrobat .pdf file or even on iPhone or smart-phone app. and can save your favourites “for a limited time” .. then you actually have to purchase everything on-site at their brick-and-mortar storage space .
  • quickest access from metropolitan SEOUL is a single stop South via KTX bullet train from either SEOUL Station or YongSan Station, get out of Exit 1 at its North-West end then walk further North-West about 10 minutes past CostCo and then Lotte Premium Outlet, both to your Right (if you can pass without stopping in there first ~ my holy shopping-Jesus).
  • FREE Wi-Fi access on compounds : have your device search for “iKEA Wi-Fi”
  • there is a food court in the center of the second floor with Western and even Swedish dishes at quite a bargain, considering hiked meal rates in South Korea 😉
  • items in Red Tag : you can follow its storage location, put into a cart and check-out,
    while those in Yellow : you have to order at the counter .
  • they offer relatively expensive delivery at W19,000 if you bring the product to the coutner, or W29,000 if you order at the counter .

141216iKeaTruck300Bask
[ RELATED LINKS ]

10.10.3 OutLet Malls
http://koreaexpatblog.com/outlet-malls/

12.1.21 When Where IKEA Furniture Store Open GwangMyeong PaJu South Korea
http://koreaexpatblog.com/outlet/when-where-ikea-furniture-store-open-gwangmyeong-paju-south-korea/

14.9.9 IKEA Korea Opening GwangMyeong KTX Station (with regional map)
http://koreaexpatblog.com/outlet/ikea-korea-opening-gwangmyeong-ktx-station/

14.11.14 IKEA WebSite Open
http://koreaexpatblog.com/shopping/ikea-website-open/

 

– and like Arctic Scandinavia : they had to open on the coldest frozen day of the year, Korea Expat BLog –

( December 20 Update ) a couple of days after the first iKEA opening : complaints abound of

  1. mostly metropolitan SEOUL consumers driving 30 minutes to an hour to reach the satellite bullet-train station, only to find traffic congested in the outlet hub where Lotte Premium Outlet and CostCo have settled earlier, to line-up to enter the compounds, which is crumpled like in a commuting train, then again another long queue to check-out -_-
  2. Korean shoppers accustomed to roaming freely in a wide space : frustrated not used to following designated route throughout sample show-rooms,
  3. then not being able to find storage location of selected product numbers, in a vaster space

 

2 Comments

Ikea is not cheap, and is of poor quality… as foreigners know
Why south Koreans don’t know this…?

1.iKEA is priced better than local brands and imports, which are relatively expensive
– one large reason consumers welcomed its influx, is in the hope it will bring furniture prices down .
2.Koreans know its quality is NOT good, but flocked for its modern European design, which is quite different from brands and models currently on the Korean market .
3.this Post is largely for Expatriates here, who’ve long-inquired when iKEA will land on this Peninsula – than Korean followers .

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