15,000 expected as Swedish furniture giant opens in Ulster
Today is the day style-conscious Ulster shoppers have been waiting for as Swedish furniture giant IKEA finally opens its doors to the public.
Up to 15,000 people are expected to descend on the iconic store throughout the day, with many expected to try and beat the queues by turning up early. As you can see from this picture, the staff are ready!
In spite of months of preparation by local authorities, traffic chaos is expected in and around the Hollywood Exchange area and motorists are being advised of likely delays to travel.
The IKEA store is the first on the island of Ireland and is expected to provide a significant boost to the economy in Belfast.
IKEA openings in other countries have led to violent scenes with shoppers desperate to find a bargain.
The flagship superstore, located at the Holywood Exchange on the outskirts of east Belfast, will officially open with a traditional Swedish log-cutting ceremony at 10am by Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers.
Viking drummers and a Cool FM Roadshow will also add a dash of colour to the proceedings and help keep the customers entertained.
The 29,000 sq ft flagship facility will offer more than 9,500 items, ranging from beds and wardrobes to sofas, chairs, lamps and numerous other home goods.