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Dozens Pass On The Polls To Camp Out For IKEA Miami's Grand Opening

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Using two tents for shade from the sun and resting on air mattresses and sleeping bags, fans of the Scandinavian furniture and home furnishings retailer IKEA are camping outside the newest South Florida store to be some of the first inside when it opens on Wednesday.

Besides being the day before IKEA's grand opening, Tuesday is also Primary Election day.

CBS4's Cynthia Demos went to the camp out to ask a very important question. Is it more important to exercise your right to get free furniture, or exercise your right to vote?

The two dozen or so who have set up camp outside the store know it pays to be first. The first 39 adults in line at the Grand Opening will receive a free EKTORP three-seat sofa. The next 100 adults in line will receive a free POÄNG armchair and the first 100 children will receive a free FAMNIG heart-shaped soft toy. The first 2,500 people to enter the store will receive a random mystery prize with an IKEA gift card or voucher for food item.

Demos asked Tony Grandson, who is first in line for the Wednesday's opening, if there was anything else of importance going on that would affect him.

"No, not at all," Grandson responded.

Click here to WATCH CBS4's Cynthia Demos's report

Grandson told Demos he has been in line since Monday at 5 A.M. and as far as anything else going on today, he's not interested.

Demos also spoke with Matthew Aylward and Joana Rolda; both took the week off to be at the store's opening. The pair, equipped with an air mattress, spent the night outside the store.

Demos asked, and then reminded them it was the Primary Elections Tuesday.

"Actually I did absentee voting so I voted about three weeks ago, actually," said Aylward.

But for the crowds waiting in front of the giant, 416,000 square-foot IKEA Miami, Primary Election voting, or early voting, was a rarity—meaning Swedish-designed furniture and the possibility of a free couch is a tad more important to this group.

The IKEA Miami, which has nearly 1,500 parking spaces, is located is just west of the Dolphin Mall at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Florida's Turnpike.  This is the company's second store in South Florida; their other one is in Sunrise off I-595.

The new store will feature 10,000 exclusively designed items, 44 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children's play area and a 600-seat restaurant, according to a statement from the company. Other family friendly features include a 'Children's IKEA' area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store and preferred parking.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA currently has more than 350 stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S.


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