IKEA moved into our neighborhood about two years ago. I have been to the IKEA store a few times. I find I am developing a love/hate relationship with IKEA. I love the store and hate the store at the same time. IKEA isn’t like Wal-Mart. Now, Wal-Mart I knew I hated the place from the beginning. The atmosphere of Wal-Mart just drives me crazy. IKEA on the other hand has its good points. The problem is IKEA also has its bad points.
The Good Points of IKEA
As soon as you walk in an IKEA store you fall in love with one aspect of IKEA. They have free childcare right in the IKEA store. You go to the counter, sign up your kids, and leave them in the playroom. The problem is the IKEA employee gives you a beeper (light-up thingy) and tells you it will light up in forty-five minutes. IKEA teases you with their child care. As soon as you are enjoying the quiet time with your significant other, the light starts to go off. The time went so fast and it was quiet for the first time in years. I guess you could call IKEA’s child care a good/bad thing. It is a great idea that doesn’t last very long. Thanks IKEA for the tease.
Another good thing at IKEA is the prices on most of their items. We bought a WOK last week at the Chinese store for twenty bucks. IKEA had it for five dollars. They have silverware cheap. IKEA has toys for children cheap. IKEA has a ton of space saving furniture. They have all kinds of goodies for your house. This includes furniture for good prices. The one thing you have watch out for at IKEA is the pricing. Each item is priced individually. You could buy a shelf for ten dollars, but each part of the shelf has a price tag. It takes a few moments to figure out their pricing. You buy a bin for seven dollars; watch out because the lid costs another two dollars.
The parking at IKEA is plentiful and easy. The employees at IKEA are helpful. They have a food court upstairs and a food court downstairs. They have food products from Sweden if you like those sorts of products. The prices at the food court upstairs are more expensive than the prices downstairs. This was odd to me, but it is their store. I don’t know if all stores in Sweden are set up like IKEA, but if they are, this is where we go to the bad points of IKEA.
The Bad Points of Ikea
The IKEA store is a maze. It took me fifteen minutes just to figure this fact out. IKEA set up their store in hopes you would go through every inch of it before you found your way out of the store. I was tired after thirty minutes of mazes and we spend three hours and thirty minutes in IKEA yesterday. IKEA does have maps in their store to show you the shortcuts through their maze. However, the store is still a maze.
The shopping carts and elevators nearly drove me insane. There are two floors in the IKEA store. You cannot bring your shopping cart from downstairs upstairs. You have to leave it with your stuff in the shopping cart. Upstairs, they have awful shopping carts with nowhere to put anything. They have a thing on the shopping cart to hold a bag. You hook up a bag to the shopping cart and set you items in the bag. The bag does not hold many items. This is a horrible flaw in the IKEA idea. We may have bought more if we had a regular shopping cart upstairs. The elevators are a joke. You have elevators on one side of the store that can only be operated from downstairs. You have elevators on the other side of the store that can only be operated from upstairs. It took us ten minutes to find a way to pick our kids up from the childcare.
Checking out is another part of IKEA that makes me want to bang my head against the wall? You have a ton of checkout isles open. The problem is most of them are self-service checkouts. We had two carts full of items to buy and two small children. We had no chance at checking ourselves out at a self-service checkout. We waited in the one line that wasn’t self-service. Yes, I am not kidding, IKEA had one checkout line open for full service customers. We get through the line and the girl tells us we cannot have the lid to a bin because it was the display item. I just gave up in defeat. Okay, I said while mumbling something nice under my breath.
The food court upstairs was the only food court you could get to until you checked out. We were both hungry and thirsty upstairs. We paid the higher prices upstairs for food and drinks. The downstairs food court offered hotdogs for fifty cents each. The sandwiches upstairs were four dollars each. Next time we go to IKEA, we will definitely go downstairs if we are hungry.
I leave IKEA loving and hating the store. We have this kind of relationship where I like their products and their prices. I love their childcare even if it is just a tease. On the other hand, I do not like mazes, I do not like special shopping cart and elevator rules. I am at a store to buy things, not to play games. IKEA, I’m a middle aged man who does not like to shop too much. I like your prices and many of the items you have for sale. However, could you make the store a little easier to navigate for those of us who are beyond the childish game faze. Could you make an adult sort of IKEA for the rest of us? Or at least put some television screens on the walls (with sporting events) for those of us who get lost and don’t care to find our way out of your store. I love you IKEA, but I hate you too.