Vancouver School Bus services IKEA for its Richmond grand opening

The IKEA Megastore opened last April 25th to massive crowds that caused traffic jams in Richmond and nearby areas. Excited shoppers from Vancouver had to survive traffic all the way up 49th Street in Vancouver to the Knight Street off-ramp leading to the popular Swedish furniture store. Visitors coming from West Richmond had to wait in line for several hours just to be able to get inside the new store.


Police officers were stationed around the site to direct the huge increase in traffic at the entrances and exits. For safety reasons, the Richmond Fire-Rescue and the B.C. Ambulance Service were also present for a time. The new 31,000 square metre store is situated directly adjacent to the three-decade-old IKEA site on Bridgeport Road and Sweden Way.


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The first 1,000 IKEA-Richmond customers were given envelopes that had anything from a hot dog voucher to a $250 gift card. While the curious and eager shoppers couldn’t contain their excitement during the store's opening, the IKEA staff certainly had their hands full attending to everybody's needs. Vancouver School Bus was there to help out in our own little way.


The Vancouver School Bus and IKEA staff tag team


Vancouver School Bus services Ikea Richmond


During the week of the grand opening, staff members were asked to park off site in order to free up the regular parking lot for the general public. Vancouver School Bus was hired to perform continuous shuttle service to and from the satellite parking lot (the old Richmond Night Market site) to and from work as needed so that the public parking weren’t so congested.


We shuttled IKEA staff from 7:00am until 11:00pm for the week. Our General Manager, Don Minaker made the rounds and chatted with some of the staff to get a feel for the atmosphere and the mood. In addition to a local staff from other stores, there were IKEA staff members flown in from all over Canada, with the majority of them coming from Ontario.


By all accounts, the IKEA staff were delighted and appreciative that they had a safe place to park away from the throngs of happy patrons hauling their goods away. After all of the excitement inside, it was a welcome convenience to be able to drive away from a slightly calmer parking lot.




We were witness to how successful the event was and we were honored to be of service to IKEA during their important and well thought out grand opening event. Congratulations, for a job well done!


About IKEA

IKEA is the world's largest furniture retailer. Founded in 1943, IKEA is an international home products company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories. The company is named as an acronym comprising the initials of the founder's name (Ingvar Kamprad), the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his hometown (Agunnaryd in Småland, South Sweden).* The first IKEA store in Canada first opened in Richmond in 1976.



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