HALIFAX -- Start the car -- IKEA has reopened in Dartmouth, N.S.

But the shopping experience will look a little different.

Roughly 200 customers stood in line outside the store as it opened its doors at 10 a.m. Monday.

“I think, for economic wise, this is a great thing that this store is open,” said customer Gail Bradshaw.

IKEA Canada announced on March 18 that it was closing all stores across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The retailer has slowly been reopening stores since May 19. As of Monday, all 14 stores have now reopened in Canada.

Shoppers in Dartmouth welcomed the news Monday morning.

“Things are slowly opening up, so it’s a good sign,” said Ray Barrett. “There’s a lot of people out there today.”

In a statement on its website, IKEA says it has implemented the following measures to ensure the safety of employees and customers during the pandemic:

  • strict physical-distancing guidelines, including floor decals for lineups
  • limiting the number of visitors to the store and maintaining a strict capacity in select areas
  • frequent sanitization and cleaning of surfaces, including carts
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees
  • separation screens around cash registers and customer service points
  • hand sanitizer throughout the store
  • health and safety requirements for employees and third-party vendors, including a temperature check when they enter the building

The children’s play area, Småland, and restaurant will remain closed. The bistro will be open for takeout only.

“As we reopen our store locations, our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our co-workers, customers and communities,” said Michael Ward, the CEO and chief sustainability officer at IKEA Canada. “We will continue to act in a responsible way and before making any decisions to open our doors, we have taken steps to ensure our health and safety measures are secured.” 

IKEA is also encouraging shoppers to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.