'Going to be a problem:' Some worried about traffic changes tied to IKEA opening in Oak Creek

OAK CREEK -- Wisconsin's first IKEA store opens Wednesday, May 16 in Oak Creek, and as IKEA officials put finishing touches on the store on "IKEA eve" on Tuesday, police warned of traffic changes that'll be put into place on opening day.

"We have over 30 toppings. We specialize in thin crust, personalized pizzas," said Krista Scott.

Krista Scott

You won't find any Swedish meatballs -- but Scott said she wants you to know IKEA isn't the only grand opening taking place in Oak Creek this week. Employees at the new MOD Pizza on Tuesday were learning the ropes before the grand opening celebration on Friday, May 18. Scott said Oak Creek's other new neighbor can only help business for everyone.

"Who knows? Maybe on our break we'll head over to IKEA and help them out too," said Scott.

On Tuesday, there were just hours to go until Wisconsin's first IKEA store would open. Customers can start lining up at 5 a.m. Wednesday, with the doors opening at 9 a.m.

Ahead of the big celebration, Oak Creek police warned of some important traffic changes to accommodate the massive crowds. Drexel Avenue's westbound lanes will be the only route you can take to get into the IKEA parking lot. The right turn lane and center lane will be used to turn into the property. There will be no entry from the eastbound lanes.

"I live basically right down there, so it's going to be a problem to get on and off the freeway all the time," said Melanie Maki, Oak Creek resident.

Joanne Seward said it could add 15 or 20 minutes to her commute. She said she's not planning on visiting the store for at least six months, and said she's been dreading the headaches that will come with all the fuss.

There will also be a shuttle at the College Avenue Park 'n Ride.


For those excited to take part in IKEA's grand opening celebration, there will be entertainment, giveaways and gift cards up for grabs throughout the day:

Activities and giveaways include:

IKEA Welcome

  • The first 200 children (12 & younger) in line receive a free FAMNIG heart-shaped soft toy, valued at $4.99.

  • The first 1,000 adults (18 & older) in line receive a special “welcome” gift.

IKEA Welcome Sweepstakes

  • On May 16, visitors in line before 8 a.m. will be entered for a chance to win one of three gift cards, valued at $500, $1,500 and $2,000.

IKEA Bag Giveaway

  • Customers will receive a free IKEA FRAKTA blue bag, valued at $1.29 with any in-store product purchase.

*Limit: One per customer. Offer is available in store only and does not include the purchase of services or purchases in the restaurant, bistro or Swedish food market.

IKEA FAMILY $250 Gift Card Giveaway

  • On May 16, visitors who join IKEA FAMILY or scan their IKEA FAMILY card in-store at an IKEA FAMILY kiosk, info tower, tablet or during checkout, will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of twenty-two  $250 IKEA Gift Cards through the IKEA FAMILY loyalty program. Winner’s names will be randomly drawn every hour that the store is open.

IKEA Oak Creek Offer

  • When you use your IKEA FAMILY card in-store from Wednesday, May 16-Monday, May 28 and spend a minimum of $125, you will receive $20 off next purchase of $100 or more via email.