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 .
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 .
[ RELATED LINKS ]
10.10.3 OutLet Malls
12.1.21 When Where IKEA Furniture Store Open GwangMyeong PaJu South Korea
14.9.9 IKEA Korea Opening GwangMyeong KTX Station (with regional map)
14.11.14 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
- 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 -_-
- Korean shoppers accustomed to roaming freely in a wide space : frustrated not used to following designated route throughout sample show-rooms,
- then not being able to find storage location of selected product numbers, in a vaster space