An eyewitness said some frustrated shoppers had become abusive of staff and police were briefly called to the scene.
Jo Griffin tweeted: “Lots of traffic around Ikea at Ashton Moss.
“People get out of their cars and shout insults and threaten IKEA staff. It’s really no way to behave – they’re just trying to protect people.
An Ikea spokesperson confirmed that police had been called to deal with “an isolated customer problem” and apologized for the delays attributed to an “unprecedented request”.
Sam Scholes drove close to Preston with his partner to pick up kitchen shelves – but gave up after waiting 45 minutes in stationary traffic.
“We got the text yesterday to say come and get it anytime on Sunday,” Sam said.
“They said to call us when you get here.
“The traffic has been practically saved from the first roundabout as you exit the M60. ”
“My partner rang and they said, ‘You might have to wait, you can’t do anything else’.
“We made it patiently wait for 45 minutes and then it became chaos.
“People were going through the yellow outbreaks.
“Finally, the police arrived and pushed their way forward and parked in front of the entrance.
“From what I could see, the policeman was trying to get people to move. ”
When the MEN visited this afternoon at around 2 p.m., there was still a long line of traffic to the entrance to Ikea although the police had left the scene.
“It’s ridiculous to be honest,” Sam said.
“How could it take such a long process? ”
“They must have known how many people would show up.
” Something is wrong. ”
All Ikea stores are temporarily closed to comply with the coronavirus lockdown.
But the company announced earlier this month that it is reducing the cost of its Click and Collect service to £ 5 or free if customers are £ 100 or more.
An IKEA spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for the disruption at IKEA Manchester today.
“This was caused by unprecedented demand in these exceptional times when home life has never been more important.
“We can confirm that the police have been called to deal with an isolated customer issue and have now left the site.
Get the latest updates from all over Greater Manchester straight to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter
You can register very simply by following the instructions here
“We have done everything we can to serve customers on this incredibly busy Sunday and we have increased the staff capacity in our store to manage the Click & Collect service.
“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and for shopping at IKEA.”
MEN was unable to contact Greater Manchester Police for comment.