NORFOLK, Va. — At long last, Hampton Roads officially has an IKEA.
The new Norfolk location opened its doors to customers at 9 a.m. Wednesday, becoming the 50th IKEA to open in the United States.
Before Wednesday's grand opening, the closest IKEA was up in northern Virginia.
Visitors were greeted with events, special offers and a chance to win gift cards—including three gift cards valued at $500, $1,500 and $2,000, according to a city of Norfolk news release.
Visitors who join the IKEA FAMILY loyalty program or scan their IKEA FAMILY card in-store at a kiosk will also be automatically entered for a chance to win one of twenty $250 IKEA gift cards.
Two winners will be randomly drawn and announced every hour from 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. April 10.
The first 200 children—12 and younger—in line receive a free FAMNIG heart-shaped soft toy.
The first 1,000 adults—18 and older—in line receive a special “welcome” gift.
Store representatives said parking won't be an issue for future customers because there will be 935 parking spaces on-site.
Store manager Charlie Plisco said the company has been looking to come to Norfolk for more than 10 years.
"It's not just the population. It's the diversity of the population. What makes it really interesting is the number of military in the area," he said.
The store hired more than 270 workers and Plisco said they're still hiring.
Customers can start waiting outside of the store on opening day as early as 5 a.m.
The store will run a shuttle every 12-14 minutes from its overflow parking location at Norfolk Premium Outlets to help. In order to use the shuttle park in the lots next to the Bus Plaza at the outlets.
Guests who use the shuttle will receive a special pass to enter the IKEA pickup are to retrieve any large purchases.
Check out what videos the community posted on Snapchat about the IKEA opening: