Big crowd gathers for opening of giant California IKEA store

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — The opening of a giant new IKEA store in Southern California has drawn a large crowd despite damp weather.

People gathered in misty early morning darkness Wednesday as the retailer offered free sofas to the first 26 people through the doors and armchairs and other items to other shoppers attending the debut of the massive Burbank store in suburban Los Angeles.

The 456,000-square-foot store with 1,700 parking spaces and a 600-seat restaurant sprawls across 22 acres less than a mile from the store it replaces.

The old store opened in 1990 with 242,000 square feet on 6.4 acres and was the Swedish company's first IKEA in California.

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