San Francisco’s new Ikea is making a bold bet on Downtown: With dwindling foot traffic, crime concerns, retail stores closing and a worrying lack of office workers, some are wondering whether the furniture store will last—or whether it’ll go the way of the Mid-Market Whole Foods.
The furniture store famed for its meatballs will open to the public at 945 Market St. on Wednesday. City officials are hopeful the Ikea and its 250,000-square-foot “meeting place” will rejuvenate the struggling neighborhood.
“We are hoping that we can play our part—we're not saying that we will fix everything,” said Miia Kautovaara, a representative of Ikea's parent company, Ingka Centres, and a member of the Mid-Market Community Benefit District. “We are dedicated, and we are really committed to this market and this neighborhood.”
Whether the store will have the desired effect on the area remains to be seen—but having visited for a sneak peek on Monday, The Standard found more than a few bargains.
Here’s what you can get for less than $100 at the new Ikea store in San Francisco:
San Francisco is known for its glorious parks—and Ikea seems to have figured that out. The store is offering picnic blankets, apparently a newly introduced product, on the second floor for $29.
Wicker baskets were in abundance on the second floor of the store at 945 Market St., running for $15 and up. The store also features a new grab-and-go deli mart on the first floor, the first of its kind at any Ikea in the U.S. Customers can snag a bag or two of Gifflar cinnamon rolls on their way out to Golden Gate Park.
Plant balls might become all the rage after Ikea opens its Swedish deli in San Francisco: The store will offer vegetarian foods such as plant balls, plant-based hot dogs and side dishes. The bags of plant balls line the walls of Ikea SF’s second floor and sell for roughly $7 a bag. You could stock up on a winter’s worth of plant balls for less than $100 with tax.
The real meatballs will cost you a little more, however. Ikea currently prices its bag of meatballs for around $11.
If plastic plants and green things aren’t your jam, Ikea’s first-floor home goods section is packed with candles—pallets of them. A 100-pack of tea lights goes for roughly $6.50, and the store stocks rows of cedar-scented and colored candles.
Plates are shockingly cheap at Ikea: The lowest-budget, college student-friendly dishes are 99 cents each. The porcelain-esque dishes are easy to stack and transport and, for the clumsy San Franciscans out there, a safe option because they’re notoriously hard to break.
Did some rare sunlight catch you off guard in foggy San Francisco? Maybe the city’s weird laser light show pierced your apartment windows? Ikea has blackout curtains for that, selling for roughly $45 per panel.
Downtown San Francisco’s Ikea has rugs—a lot of them.
Our favorite was a brown-gray Svindinge rug, which looks like a sheep’s pelt but is actually made of recycled plastic bottles. The company describes the rug as the “perfect shape” for your bedside and promises it will “[give] your feet a warm welcome every morning.”
The store’s “small-space living” concept and layout is built around San Francisco city life, meaning shoppers won’t be able to leave the new Ikea with a brand new bed or a desk in tow, but they can order it in-store.
Asked about concerns surrounding petty theft and shoplifting, market manager Arda Akalin said the company has laid out a comprehensive security plan that it will adjust after the store’s first few months in operation.
“We have our own risk team; it’s very standard in every Ikea store,” Akalin said. “But we also have a third-party external security company. We will have the security guards here, in certain places like the checkouts, restrooms and entrance.”
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org