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What makes you an IKEA fan?




[Customers enter IKEA moments after its opening in Orlando in November 2007. Maurice Rivenbark | Times

When IKEA opened its first Orlando store in 2007, off-duty police officers were hired to keep watch on the dozens of eager shoppers who started lining up four days early. On opening day, thousands mobbed the store. Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas described the event as the "biggest grand opening to hit Central Florida since Animal Kingdom."

And now Tampa's gearing up for its own spectacle next Wednesday (May 6), as IKEA opens its 353,000-square-foot store in Ybor City. Per tradition, the store will allow customers to begin lining up at 9 a.m. Monday in advance of its official opening on Wednesday. The early campers will be rewarded with entertainment and free gifts.'s Whoa, Momma! bloggers Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson got a preview yesterday and offer their take on what makes IKEA so mom-friendly (99-cent breakfast for kids, breastfeeding area in restroom to name a few). They tweeted about their tour as they swooned over 99-cent gadgets.

But we'd like to know what would entice you to camp out for IKEA shopping. We know everyone loves a good deal on trendy furniture, but enough to motivate you to spend the night -- or two -- in an Ybor City parking lot?  Is it the freebies? The chance to furniture shop without leaving empty-handed or completely broke? The anticipation of building your own bookshelf Wednesday evening?

If you plan on lining up before Wednesday, let us know one thing: Why?!

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:52pm]


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