SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The time has come. An IKEA is opening in San Francisco this Wednesday.
On Monday, KRON4 got a tour of the city-formatted store on Market Street. These smaller urban locations are already in places like London and Paris.
Now there’s one in Supervisor Matt Dorsey’s district. KRON4 spoke with him to learn what the city will be doing to protect IKEA from the increased theft that had several companies leaving that area.
There has been a mass exodus of other retailers leaving downtown and the Westfield Mall due to increased theft and declining sales. Dorsey says it’s refreshing to hear IKEA wants to be a part of the city’s rebound.
“As a city, we are still in the process of coming back after COVID and it means a lot as the district supervisor of the mid-market that this is going to be a centerpiece of Market Street revitalization… which I think in the next few years we are going to see more progress on,” he said.
The new IKEA is one-third the size of the other locations and divided into three levels. There is one entrance on Market Street, and it’s self-checkout only.
IKEA employees will be walking around the store to help people, and unarmed guards from the same third-party company that runs the Emeryville location will be watching for shoplifters.
“We place them in the different areas where customers may need help,” said Arda Akalin, the manager of IKEA’s San Francisco and Emeryville locations. “In the restroom areas, the checkouts, the entrances. They will be monitoring the traffic within the store.”
Shopping at this city-format store will be much different than what you’re used to, as there is no store parking and cars are not allowed on Market Street. While there are a few parking lots nearby, IKEA officials recommend people use public transportation.
“We don’t have any large furniture as a takeaway item from this unit. We have 150 small furniture, which is easy to carry on public transportation. And we do have a home delivery, which is $19 dollars, which is a pretty similar price to downtown parking in San Francisco,” Akalin said.
Supervisor Dorsey toured the new store Monday morning. He believes that increased police patrols are key to supporting new businesses like IKEA.
Next month, he hopes to get full support from other supervisors on his plan to get the police department fully staffed within five years. Then they can bring this initiative to voters.
“About one-third of the police department that should be there, isn’t there,” he said. “That means that there are a lot of kinds of public drug use, drug dealings, retail theft… lower-level things where no one is going to lose their life over it but it’s really a problem. It’s hurting our neighborhoods and businesses.”
He says IKEA’s fresh approach to retail is what his district needs.
“I think IKEA will be well-served, and I think in a few years everyone is going to say that was a smart investment by IKEA,” he said.
If you’re wondering if this IKEA location has the famous Swedish meatballs, they do. They also have them in plant-based form, as well as frozen, so you can cook them at home.