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carlsson
July 24th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Maybe it comes as a surprise to you, being a Swede and all but...

.. I don't like IKEA much at all. :mad:

1. They arrange the stores like a race circuit, making it almost impossible to go straight to the section you are looking for. They have improved lately with removing a wall here or there to open short-cuts, but generally it still is a pre-determined path to follow.

2. Their printed catalog is glossy, but quite useless to look up things in. Where other stores have a detailed index of every single piece of stuff they sell, IKEA is satisfied with pointing out sections in the index. You need to visit their webpage in advance to know if (A) they have items like what you're looking for and (B) where to find it.

3. In the actual store, some related stuff can be found a little everywhere. For most of the larger items, you'll end up in the self service warehouse anyway.

I got a pre-paid gift certificate on my birthday, and went to the IKEA store to use it. I had two things on my mind; either a set of vessels for garbage sorting, or a kitchen scale, preferrably a digital one.

I could not find any dedicated system for garbage sorting, but they had a few different types of vessels scattered around the store. Neither was of the kind I was looking for though, so I'll check around in other stores. What about a kitchen scale? Nope, didn't even see one on a postcard. Pans, cutlery, tableware and a lot of other kitchen paraphernalia, but I have enough of that.

So, I ended up with my still unused gift certificate and will have to look up on their webpage if they have anything I could find use of. The website isn't the most userfriendly neither, but at least it fills the purpose the printed catalog no longer does.

Chris2005
July 24th, 2006, 02:49 PM
I've only been to Ikea once, I think it was in late '99. It was a maze no doubt, and although I wasn't looking for anything in particular, I got the impression that alot of their stuff was "one offs" if I'm using the term properly - after you bought it you're not likely to find a similar one again. There was just no rhyme or reason to the place. Perhaps that's what makes it popular. Americans, and I'm sure loads of others, like to shop - meander aimlessly through a store with neither the intention of necessarily sufficient funds to buy anything.

CP/M User
July 24th, 2006, 05:51 PM
Must admit I've never been to an Ikea store - sure though
their dotted around all over the place & look huge from the
outside. Nearly went to one in 1993, though when we got there
the place had closed early.

Guess I was never destined to go to an Ikea store. I didn't
realise they were all around the world though. Us Aussies have
a few furniture stores of our own I think - better off going
to those instead! :-D

CP/M User.

carlsson
July 25th, 2006, 12:39 AM
Chris; I think you refer to the named models and series. Some series remain unchanged for years and decades, while some items might go out of stock after one season. All items in one series of products should be possible to combine in one way. It can be both a blessing and a curse, since it likely means a different series of items is not compatible at all, or follows whatever standard dimensions the other stores might have.

When I was a kid, the nearest store was a few miles away, and it was some kind of excitement to go there to shop. Back then, the furniture was ultra-cheap but not very stylish. It still is fair priced, but more designed items and today you can find competitive alternatives in other stores. Yet, like Chris writes, even here a lot of people - in particular younger people - always tend to go to IKEA to browse around. Kill a few hours. Maybe eat something, have an ice-cream at the exit.

Chris2005
July 25th, 2006, 02:23 PM
dude just a dopey question - does the stuph Ikea sell come from the world over? I imagine that's the case. Are you likely to find as much say Chinese stuph as you would in...eh, Target or Walmart? I haven't done much furniture shopping lately (BUT FOUND A FRIGGIN JOB AS OF 9:30 THIS MORNING. WOOOHOOO GONNA HAVE TO DO SOME BEFORE LONG!!!), but I imagine alot of stuph comes from the orient these days. Certain types of furniture (I think mainly wood stuph) comes through North Carolina over here, but that's not to say it's domestically made.
Like I said, I've only been to an Ikea once. I'd have to go back a few more times to give an honest opinion of the place. That sort of art nouveau trend started in the 70s (they sort of kind qualify as an artsy fartsy kind of place, no?). Remember that episode of the Odd Couple where Felix bought all that funky furniture. That's kind of the stuph I'm talking about, and I'm guessing you're most likely to find that sort of thing there as opposed to anywhere else. Europeans have always been the vanguards of style and *non-traditional* art to a large degree. I can take or leave the funkier stuph. Not that I favor traditional "colonial" decor (blec). I like modern, which could mean anything, but not too garish. Then again I just might deck out a house one day to look like the innards of a spacecraft LOL LOL.

carlsson
July 25th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Yes, they manufacture a lot in China and other low-cost economies. The designers are specific though, many Swedes but also international. It means someone from the product department analyses a need, sets up a budget and finds a designer who can make a product that fits the criteria. Then they locate a manufacturer that can produce this piece of furniture or whatever within the given price and quality measures.

If anything, IKEA is infamous for missing one bolt or insufficient mounting instructions. Previously all stuff was very simple, but cheap and functional. Now more items are designed, putting them in a different sector. Probably still worth the money if you find something you like, but no longer playing out of competition. They're building a store at the Swedish-Finnish border (Haparanda/Torneň) which will be the northmost store in the world. This was a region on its way to become deserted, but after the giant furniture company established themselves, dozens of other chains in clothing, electronics and whatsnot are queueing to join the shopping centre. Apart from Swedes and Finns living in the area, they're expecting buses full of newly rich Russians living in the north to come there and shop. Already existing furniture stores in the area show no fear, but rather welcome the competition as they find themselves offering different types of furniture, and customers who didn't find anything at IKEA might come to their store on their way home.

Chris2005
July 25th, 2006, 03:21 PM
I wonder if Linus Torvalds shops at Ikea LOL LOL. He can damn well probably shop anyplace he wants...

carlsson
July 25th, 2006, 04:13 PM
No idea what his personal style is like. I must admit that the most simple storage systems they have are quite affordable; those you put up in a garage, computer room or elsewhere where it is not so important how it looks.