February 21, 2010

The IKEA Experience

khallmark @ 12:01 am —

I needed a dresser. The one I’ve had since I was a child is falling apart, and it’s just not big enough for both myself and my wife. It was time for a new one. After evaluating all the choice online, I ended up going with Ikea. Instead of ordering it online, I decided we’d trek out to the Ikea store instead. I wanted to have the Ikea Experience.

Suffice to say, it’s an interesting experience.

When you walk in, there is a cafe and an escalator. It took us a few minutes to even figure out where to go. You go upstairs, and there are arrows on the ground pointing you along the path (we later found out there are shortcuts). So you follow it around through the various departments. A lot of it is the usual furniture store style, mock rooms etc… Something I thought was particularly interesting were model living spaces. Specifically, for small spaces like a 573 sq ft apartment, or a 600 sq ft house.

There was so much stuff. The amount of furniture went on forever, with not a single salesperson in sight. After wandering through the gallery, we finally get to what we needed (a dresser). We went through every department on our way to the bedroom furniture. We had to stop and look at a map twice to get there though. There were people everywhere. It was absurd.

After finding the dresser I’d picked out online, getting my selection was another challenge. We were given coordinates by the (spanish) tag we picked up in the gallery. Eventually we got our bearings and we found the dresser. Checking out was fairly quick and painless.

Now, the at home experience. As I type this, I have still not finished assembling my Ikea dresser. It’s coming along well though. I haven’t had any problems with the manufacturing or assembly. Unlike other do-it-yourself furniture, the quality is superb. Every piece has gone together as it should, no widening tiny holes, no missing pieces. Each piece fits exactly as it should. The assembly requires minimal tools and technique; if you can put together a LEGO set, you can put together an Ikea dresser.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised. I think my next trip to the Ikea store will not be so overwhelming. I’ll be able to find what I want and get out as quick as possible. As furniture goes, I don’t really think you can beat the quality for the price. I think Ikea has a good business model. It keeps personnel and shipping costs down. If you don’t need your hand held the whole way, Ikea is definitely the way to go.

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