Ikea hell

Now, I know this has nothing to do with gardening or plants or even dogs for that matter, but after lying on the physiotherapists table yesterday afternoon and over-hearing this conversation, I knew I had to repeat it.

“The new Ikea opened today and there were only a few hundred people waiting in line to get in.  All the news reports said there would be thousands…”

“Yes, and those people will never be seen again. Can you imagine? Over 400,000 square feet? And if you walk through the entire store, it’s 1.3 kilometers from start to finish…”

“And the restaurant? Over 600 seats? “

“Do they give you a bunch of ingredients, a piece of paper written in Swedish and an allen key — then you can make the meal yourself?”

But then it got more inflamed.

“I realized after buying a light fixture you can only use *their* lightbulbs.  But there is no special express lightbulb lane; you have to walk through the entire store just for one lightbulb.  And you always get stuck behind an extended family, with several giant carts and strollers!  You can spend hours in that place just trying to get out!”


“I think they come in at night and change around all those themed displays so that the kitchen items are never in the same place twice; or at least it seems that way.  And those ‘Shortcut’ signs are just to confuse shoppers…”

I originally thought that this big, new store would accommodate us lightbulb (or casual) buyers by ensuring we could make our way through the whole place quickly — like a direct route, a central lane or something like that.   But others tell me, NO, this has not happened!  The Ikea gods have deemed that this is a fundamental requirement — or right — for all shoppers; in order to have the entire Ikea experience, we must see everything not once, but every time, whether you like it or not!

The Ikea people are all too aware of this and on the website put a positive spin on it by saying :

Plan your visit

Make a day of it
Bring your family to the IKEA store. Your kids can play in the supervised playroom while you shop.

All I can say is, when will we smarten up?  Or do we love —

  • 640 seats at the new restaurant
  • 55 Room Settings
  • 3 full home displays
  • 36 cash lanes
  • 1,200 parking spaces – 600 covered
  • 1,761 bin locations for customer product pickup
  • Picking, Home Delivery and Assembly services – We can shop for you!
  • 40 per cent more energy efficient than the last store built in 2004

Is there nothing else for us to do in any given day than walk through aisle after aisle of these giant stores, looking for one or two things but leaving with much more?  Do we really need all that stuff? 

I’m getting a headache already.  Count me out until they make it a more people friendly, express aisles and all.  Despite the fact I have a border collie, I am not a sheep.

5 thoughts on “Ikea hell”

  1. I have several light fixtures and table lamps from Ikea. They use regular light bulbs. One, an older model, is a bit more finicky to fit so I go to Buchanan lighting on Loretta north or
    to one of the plumbing and electrical stores.

    1. Thanks for your comment Carmen. That’s a great tip about where to buy bulbs for older Ikea lights. I think this complaint I overheard was, in fact, regarding a light purchased many years ago. But the question remains: Do you mind being funneled through the entire store on every visit, even if you just want to buy one thing?

  2. LOL! I don’t like the ‘herding’ either, but if the new store is similar to the old one, I’ll quickly learn my shortcuts. In the old one I could zip through and get the cork trivets I need for my pottery in 15 minutes or less. And is catching sight of neat stuff you might want another day really so bad? Have you tried to go to any box store for one item lately? Even grocery stores are laid out to slow you down and keep you in the store longer, these days. Go to Home Depot to buy some #6 Robertson screws, and it’s a serious walk.

    Besides, these huge emporiums mean the market for small, cosy, personal shops is wide open….heh, heh.

    1. Oh, you’re much more patient than I Lis! LOL! Either I’m getting too old or just too crusty; and yes, I’ve been in the big grocery stores too. The last time I was in one, I was permanently scarred. Let me explain: I was walking along with my giant-sized cart, minding my own business, when a small boy ran *face-first* into the cart. The impact sent him falling backwards in a crumpled heap, bawling (and I mean howling) so that the entire store stopped.

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