Monday, January 14, 2008

Something About Ikea

Sally and I went to Ikea Saturday. It was the first visit for both of us. I get that the furniture is cheap. After seeing the store, believe me, I get that. But is there any other reason to go there?

The Atlanta store was crowded. It was a beautiful day and late Saturday afternoon the store is jammed full of people. Add to that the layout of the store is like one long check out line. There was no point at which I didn't feel as though we were not standing in line. There is an approved path that winds its way through every department, just so you don't miss the glories of unassembled Swedish flat pack furniture. There are alleged short cuts, but it is impossible to walk in a straight line in the shop.

The store was crowded, noisy and smelled of fibreboard glue. The decorative style was reminiscent of Romper Room. I couldn't help but compare the store to Wal-Mart and Target. Wal-Mart also excels at dislocation, with their stores being laid out with circuitous paths. But it is a lot easier to navigate Wal-Mart once you know where the item you desire is located. There are also occasions where you can actually walk in a straight line to the area you wish to visit.

Target, by comparison, is a joy to visit. Items are located intuitively and there are broad clean aisles that make it simple to navigate your way whilst shopping. Target's selection of cheap furniture is smaller than Ikea's. But if I ever need a throwaway bookshelf, I'm going to Target. I know I can leave once I've found my item. Assuming Target has it, the prices are comparable.

Let's see. So far Sweden has brought us match monopolies, dynamite, clunky cars, cream based cuisine, meatballs, ABBA, Roxette and Ikea.

Is there no bottom to how low those evil Vikings will go?

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