Here's what I noticed:
1) Old people, lots of them. I guess it’s because we were there on a Monday at 10 in the morning, and pretty much everyone else has somewhere to be at that time, except for the geriatrics. The stranger thing was that most of them didn’t venture into the furniture part of the store; they mostly just stayed around the restaurant portion (which was also quite large and apparently called IKEA Bistro). Not sure how all of them made it there, maybe there are shuttle busses coming in from retirement homes?
|It's like old people Disneyland! [via]|
2) The Prices. Everything was super cheap. My breakfast cost $3 and you could buy a full real cow hide there for $299, which Kristin Pauls assured me is a steal of a deal. I hear that IKEA is about quantity over quality and I suppose that shows in their prices.
3) Following the Yellow Point Road. They had the store laid out in such a way that you have to follow a specific path throughout the whole thing. First you enter and then you have to go upstairs in by the restaurant, or if you’re skipping that you get into fully assembled living rooms, then dining rooms, kitchens, work spaces, and then bedrooms. This, I am told, is perfectly calculated to put you in the buying mood. Once you’re all finished with the full rooms, you go into a whole floor of nick-nacs with which to adorn said rooms. Again, everything here is super cheap. It’s hard to tell if other people are buying stuff though, because most people don’t actually fill up carts like you would in other stores, you write down the codes of the things you want and grab them from…
4) The Warehouse. It’s located in-store and is basically just a football arena sized room filled with boxes with words like FJELLSE and BJÖRKUDDEN on them. This is where they keep all the assembly-required merch. Strangely enough, I don’t ever remember passing people at the check-outs at any point in my IKEAdventure©. I’m still unsure how you go about buying that BJÖRKUDDEN.
5) The surprises! Every cabinet was filled with whisks and pretend spices, every kid’s room came complete with a stuffed bear tea party. I even saw that the bedroom storage closets (which light up when you open them) had Value Village clothes in them. I was tempted to buy one of the dresses I saw but, again, couldn’t figure out how to do so. I guess the IKEA gods do this to make you picture the closet at you would in your home- filled with crap! There’s something about a pristine and empty piece of cabinetry that just makes me feel sad, but when it’s filled with my stuff I feel pure joy.
6) The sausage tasted like the meatballs. Yes, I ate there for breakfast and lunch. Both set me back a whopping $10, but now I realize how they can afford to charge so little: using the same beef/pork/whatever medley but preparing it in different shapes. Oh IKEA Bistro, you so sneaky.
7) The secrets. We asked the manager of the lighting department a few Streeter-esque questions, what it was like to work there, who shops there, etc. He told us that he wasn’t allowed to answer any of “those kinds of questions”. We then asked him if it was fun working there and he said “Yes.” mechanically with absolutely no emotion in his eyes. What are they not telling us? Oh, and apparently every micro-section has its own manager, which is great for jobs so “Thanks IKEA!”
8) The spelling. WHY IS EVERYTHING CAPITALIZED IKEA?! ARE YOU SHOUTING AT ME OR DID YOU LEAVE YOUR KEYBOARD ON CAPS LOCK BY ACCIDENT? Does calling a filing cabinet ERIK make it sound more exciting and exotic?
This guy wrote a song about it called the IKEA song: