Monday, July 07, 2014

Road Trip to Ikea

            Have you ever been to Ikea before? I haven’t (at least, not until this weekend). Those stores are enormous and terrifying for introverts like me – although still fun. I especially enjoyed all the subtle sales tools they used.

            For anyone who hasn't been to Ikea before, the bulk of the store is set up as a huge showroom. A path winds through a maze of beautiful sample kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. Every item and piece of furniture in these rooms has a price tag accompanied by information on where to find the product in the “shopping” part of the store.

There are regular stations throughout the showroom with pencils and papers set up to write down all the information you need so you can find what you wanted. Using this brilliant method, you can go through and find everything you want without hauling it through the entire store with you and then simply pick it all up at the end. This is very convenient for the customers, and from a selling perspective it helps customers remember what they wanted to buy.

            So, this is the store that I went on a road trip to with my wife and her sister. Three introverts in a huge, crowded building, browsing the furnishing for what we needed. It was an interesting mix. We all had a great time and, of course, found lots to buy (well, not my sister-in-law; she was along for the ride).

            Something that stuck out a lot from this trip was the discovery that it is apparently necessary to have signs on the showroom toilets declaring that they are for display purposes only. This is one of those small things that make me weep for humanity.

            We also discovered how wonderful the staff there was when we made a little mistake at the checkout – specifically, we forgot that we had a gift card until right after we’d paid. Up until that point, it had seemed like your usual store with employees doing their jobs, but to correct this situation a supervisor needed to be called in. In spite of how busy they were, they solved the problem and were very friendly about it. It was really nice to see the personal side of the workers there.

            After that, we (barely) managed to squeeze everything and everyone into the car and headed for home. Where, of course, we had to build one of our new shelving units – what’s a trip to Ikea without putting together furniture afterwards, right?


            The moral of the story is: shop at Ikea – it’s like a furniture theme park – and make a mistake at the cash register so you can see how nice the staff are. But make sure you’re at the same Ikea as we were and that you have the same cashier otherwise you might get different results.





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2 comments:

  1. I find it hard to believe that this was your first trip to Ikea considering the house you grew up in. One of your cousins entered the house for the first time and said with delight, "It's an Ikea house!" When you brother first had his driver's license and was learning how to navigate, it seemed like we invariably started out giving him directions with "head towards Ikea." I realize that it is a very different experience shopping at Ikea than being dragged around Ikea by your parents, so you may have blocked the experience out of your mind. Are you sure this was your first trip to Ikea?

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    1. I thought of all those exact things and, try as I might, I still couldn't find a single memory of being in Ikea. I think that, somehow, I must have missed out on all the family trips there.

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