IKEA: Swedish Furniture Giant Comes to Cairo
Sat-Wed 10AM-11PM, Thurs & Fri 10AM-12AM -
Shopping for contemporary home accessories in Cairo is often an unnecessarily long and expensive feat. However, aiming to provide ready-made, well-designed home accessories at low prices, famous Swedish franchise IKEA has finally landed at Cairo Festival City in New Cairo. Extending to all living areas, the gigantic warehouse showcases just about everything needed for the modern home.
The iconic blue and yellow signage can be seen from a mile away, whilst the parking area – along with their multi-storey car park – extends almost as far. At the time of our visit, the entrance from street level was a tad chaotic, with crowds thronging towards the single escalator; here, a shop assistant was handing out large shopping bags, along with notepads and pencils to make note of furniture choices.
Whilst large furniture is displayed in the homely showroom area, each piece is available to collect, disassembled, from the vast warehouse area situated just before the cashier tills. Everything on display is for sale; from wardrobes and bed frames, to sofas, shelving units and light fixtures. Many of the furniture items, for example the KLIPPAN two seater sofa (1975LE), comes with a choice of removable covers. We spotted a double, white MALM bedframe (4285LE) with under bed storage, stackable kitchen chairs from 125LE and desk units from around 800LE. Children’s bedroom furniture is also available, along with a few arts and crafts toys and accessories. Each item is clearly labelled with the model name, number and location in the warehouse.
Smaller items can be picked up as you follow the arrows on the floor, guiding shoppers through the shopping maze. Each section is clearly defined, moving from kitchen and dining accessories, through to bedding and linen, bathroom trimmings, a huge lighting section, rugs, mirrors, clocks and art-work, to a large candle and decorative plant section. A selection of garden furniture is displayed close to the exit.
Faux sheep skin rugs cost 195LE and large, heavy duty doormats were 225LE, while a stylish, striped blanket was 220LE. Small glass tumblers start at 9LE and generously sized coffee cups were 10LE each, while kitchen basics such as ice cube trays (6LE+), chopping boards (25LE+) wooden utensils, draining boards and mixing bowls were also available; oddly though, we noticed a severe lack of cutlery.
Simple, waste paper baskets were priced at 15LE, whilst stainless steel pedal bins were retailing at 155LE. Storage boxes and solutions are widely available, as are wardrobe and drawer organisers. Giant, cylinder vases were 125LE and a set of three, tall, glass candle holders were 195LE.
In the bathroom section, not only do they feature their own brand of sinks, but everything from towels and shower mats (125LE), to toilet brushes and soap dishes are available. Corner shelves for the shower were available at 135LE, along with matching towel rails (95LE) and toilet roll holders (25LE).
The lighting section was arguably one of the most impressive, with small bedside lamps starting at 39LE, contemporary floor lamps (125LE+) and funky ceiling lamps and chandeliers. Lighting solutions for kitchen cabinets are also available, with LED strip lighting and spotlights. A small, frosted glass bedside lamp cost 99LE, whilst a larger lamp, with a clear glass base (140LE) came with a choice of plain (145LE) and embellished shades. A hefty, retro floor lamp with a charcoal finish was retailing at 765LE. Conveniently, all the bulbs required are stocked and sold separately.
Although we found some of the pricing a little erratic when comparing the items stocked, most offered great value for money, in fashionable, contemporary designs. With furnishing solutions for everything in every room, IKEA is certainly a one-stop shop to make any house a home.