Saturday Afternoon Ikea Trip Simulator
November 7, 2021 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Saturday Afternoon Ikea Trip Simulator It is Saturday afternoon. You are near Ikea. You have no idea how you got here. [via mefi projects]
posted by rogerroger (67 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
It reminded me in some ways (unsurprisingly) of Grady Hendrix's Horrorstör.

I quite like Ikea, but I think it's because we live in a city without one, so trips there seem kind of novel and weird. I can only imagine if I had to go there often I'd come to loathe it.
posted by Shepherd at 11:56 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


We get it; you hate IKEA. Either that or are performing Good Taste by affecting a hate of it as one would for, say, Nickelback or Comic Sans.
posted by acb at 12:19 PM on November 7 [14 favorites]


I want the Monday morning IKEA trip simulator please. I hear it’s awesome, you love IKEA, and there is a delicious meatball side-quest.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:27 PM on November 7 [27 favorites]


IKEA meatballs are delicious. They should spin off a chain of swedish meatball restaurants. That is all.
posted by phooky at 12:31 PM on November 7 [5 favorites]


That was the best trip to IKEA I’ve had. From the comfort of my apartment I got to experience Ikea.
posted by njohnson23 at 12:32 PM on November 7


I've been in Ikea 3 or 4 times, the novelty has about worn off and now it's just another store. I have nothing against the furniture itself; the only thing I actually hate about it is the crowds of dawdling shoppers clogging the aisles - even if you use the shortcuts, you're just going from clog to clog. They need to put in a "fast lane" for folks who know where they're going and want to get there with a minimum of bother.

I prefer to do all my research online, and ideally I can straight-up order stuff for delivery. But even if it doesn't let me do that, having armed myself with the necessary details I can just go in the exit past the checkout stands straight to the warehouse, and pull what I need from the shelves without dealing with the rest of the store.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:32 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


I only get You Hate IKEA. Which isn't accurate. I buy candles, pillow covers, pillows, and some other bedclothes from IKEA. The kitchen in my rented apartment is from IKEA and I don't hate it, though I don't love it either. I often recommend some IKEA products on the green.

Nope and nope to the meatballs and all the other IKEA food. Swedes have no idea about food. I think they hate food and are trying through IKEA to condition all of us to functional eating, so we can become even more productive consumers.
posted by mumimor at 12:37 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


I prefer to do all my research online, and ideally I can straight-up order stuff for delivery.

I have no idea what is going on with IKEA's delivery system. There are things that can't be shipped together, or can't be shipped to my house OR to the Portland store but CAN be shipped to the Seattle-area store?? and it's just the most frustrating thing.
posted by curious nu at 12:39 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


What exactly is the “simulation” part of this web site? Is the annoyance I feel at having someone/some website repeatedly attempt to tell me what I think or feel simulating the annoyance that the creator of the site feels on visiting an IKEA?
posted by eviemath at 12:51 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


I can only imagine if I had to go there often I'd come to loathe it.

Are there a lot of people that *need* to go to Ikea often? They mostly sell non-consumable goods, not things that have to replenished on a regular basis.

Also once you've done one long trip to Ikea and looked at every single item, return trips are a lot less time consuming. It's just that most people go pretty irregularly and thus everything looks brand new despite it being the exact same junk as it was several years ago.
posted by meowzilla at 12:57 PM on November 7


It provides some context, perhaps, to read the author's accompanying unsettling work of what I hope is fiction.
posted by jackbishop at 1:01 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


They mostly sell non-consumable goods, not things that have to replenished on a regular basis.

Mostly. Some of their stuff is made cheaply enough to be on the wrong end of Sam Vimes' 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:09 PM on November 7


I went to IKEA today,
It's Sunday.
I went right as it opened,
And it was jam-packed.
They were out of the mystery meat meatballs,
So I bought chicken.

(not a poem, it's all true)
posted by chavenet at 1:10 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


For those who want it, here's a walkthrough (discussed on the blue back in 2004.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:12 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


Doesn't understand why you'd want a door on a Billy bookcase so I bailed.

My favorite part of going to Ikea is when I manage to fall behind the class of shoppers I've come to think of as "curators." They walk alongside someone pushing a cart, and they talk about the utility, versatility, necessity, or convenience of all the things. When I close my eyes and imagine their voices, I see those "coming in from out of the frame explainer hands" you see in consumer tech reviews on YouTube ... the ones where the palm is pointed upward, the fingers are slightly splayed, and the hand bobs up and down with the syllables.

"Ohhh .,. the nice thing about this is that you can put it on the edge or stick it on the side with that thing, so it's out of the way except if you really want it to be in the way!"

"ooo ... didn't you say you needed one of these? I like this because it's sourced from sustainable wood and you can reverse it, plus there're those rubber nubs! Cute!"

"No, I think Swedish people are taller than us, now, so there must be something to this design if it can go in such a small room."
posted by mph at 1:13 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


I like IKEA fairly well, but I found this quite amusing. The store, like most big box stores, has a way of sucking all of the energy out of me, so even if I'm satisfied with the trip I often leave feeling exhausted and miserable. I don't really think it's because of IKEA, though, I think it's because of capitalism. Or at least consumer-capitalism. Other stores, like Target, Home Depot, or Bed Bath and Beyond all have similar effects on me. At least IKEA has some reasonably well-designed furniture for cheap enough that I can afford it. Nevertheless, I resonate with this text adventure.
posted by biogeo at 1:32 PM on November 7 [3 favorites]


They need to put in a "fast lane" for folks who know where they're going and want to get there with a minimum of bother.

Heh, I have a local ikea that I visit all the time for random small things. You have to do it all backwards. I park near the exit, not the entrance, I go in and pass the registers, through the warehouse section, and into the household goods. It’s pretty stress free if you do it that way.
posted by odin53 at 1:39 PM on November 7 [16 favorites]


Swedes have no idea about food.

Mmmm, I spent three months in and around Stockholm a few years ago and politely disagree.
posted by Wordshore at 1:39 PM on November 7 [9 favorites]


If Mrs Inflatablekiwi and I ever divorce, there is an odds on chance a trip to IKEA would be the catalyst. I don’t know what it is about IKEA but it is the place we have had our worst arguments ever. I last went when we had to get some furniture there during the pandemic for home school last year, and we agreed I’d go alone and we’d not speak about it for the rest of the weekend. I swear there is something in the air there that is designed to make genetically predisposed couples fight. It is not a place of honor.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:42 PM on November 7 [9 favorites]


You have to do it all backwards.

Not entirely possible. The warehouse leads (only) to the household section, but (a) that's the most-clogged section anyway, and (b) the escalator from there to the main showroom area is only one-way down to where you already are. If I want to see the showroom, my only option is go in the normal entrance and up the one-way escalator...after which I'm forced to deal with the dreaded household section in order to exit through the warehouse.

And when going backwards, you're also fighting the ponderous throng of people coming the other way so you still need a fast lane...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:53 PM on November 7


Swedes have no idea about food. I think they hate food and are trying through IKEA to condition all of us to functional eating, so we can become even more productive consumers.

That's not entirely fair. IMHO, Sweden leads the world in one area: sweet baked goods, or what they call fikabröd. Should I ever move abroad, I will miss being able to get proper kardemummabullar. Not that you'd find those in IKEA, except for a wretched frozen substitute.

Other than that, Swedish food can be hit and miss. The (vegetarian) meatballs are decent, though OTOH, this is also the homeland of atrocities against pizza (popular toppings include kebab meat and curry powder). Meanwhile, the supermarkets here have an entire shelving panel dedicated to bearnaise sauce.
posted by acb at 1:55 PM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Look, IKEA is to Swedish food as maybe Denny’s is to American food. That is not an exact analogy but anybody who has had real Swedish meatballs would never mistake IKEA meatballs for Swedish meatballs. They are fine. I eat them on occasion when I am at IKEA. But it’s just not fair to pretend that IKEA café food is a reasonable representation of Swedish food. (Also, if Americans can put chocolate chips in bagels then Swedes can put kebab on a pizza. It’s a free country, acb. If you don’t want kebab or curry, then order something else. Hugs from Karlstad, home of plenty of kebab pizza. ❤️ )
posted by Bella Donna at 2:11 PM on November 7 [10 favorites]


My favorite Ikea "experience: Ikea Heights
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:11 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


I have no idea what is going on with IKEA's delivery system. There are things that can't be shipped together, or can't be shipped to my house OR to the Portland store but CAN be shipped to the Seattle-area store?? and it's just the most frustrating thing.

IKEA seemed to have pretty much cancelled delivery to Chicago for the entire pandemic. I wanted a Poang chair and I finally got one after a year of checking if IKEA would deliver...via Amazon.
posted by srboisvert at 2:15 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


if Americans can put chocolate chips in bagels

As an American, may I say: Ew.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:18 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


I'm with you, inflatablekiwi. We also always fight at Ikea. But to say that is to imply some kind of "it takes two to tango" situation when that is not a fair characterization; I am the problem. I absolutely cannot handle Ikea. My spouse is a dear sweet cinnamon roll who just wants the best of all possible bookshelves and then a stop for some meatballs, and I walk through the doors and lose all my positive personality traits. I become the most crabby, sarcastic, impatient version of myself. It's to the point where he just goes alone and I thank him afterwards and help him build the stuff. I just Cannot Hang. This simulator got me.
posted by potrzebie at 2:40 PM on November 7 [6 favorites]


If you do your browsing online, you can skip the store and go straight to the warehouse. The only time I’ve had to go in the store was when I wasn’t sure what I needed to buy in the context of things I already had.

I call this manshopping.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 2:47 PM on November 7


More stereotypically "hunter" than "gatherer"
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:29 PM on November 7


My first Ikea was the one in Elizabeth NJ, so coming from Queens you had to find the free shuttle in the winding rodent maze of Port Authority, battle the free-for-all swarm just to board, and then emerge blinking and stupid into the daylight beyond the Lincoln Tunnel to be funneled into a giant warehouse already filled with the chaos of thousands. It was not a good trip. I was overstimulated but unequipped and underfed, a vegetarian in a world of meatballs. My blood sugar bottomed out somewhere near the couches after deciding on a particular couch and having no idea how to purchase it, there were computer terminals but no one who worked there, and I remember that there were tears. I did end up getting the couch, and it took forever to arrive, and when it did arrive there were two of them when just one of them took up all the space in my tiny Astoria living room.

Loving Ikea means leaning into it, and every trip got a little easier, especially once you memorized the map and most of the products. Years later when they built the one in Red Hook I'd take the ferry in after work, wander breezily through with gentle french pop on my ipod, and catch the Brooklyn shuttle up to Park Slope, a block from my house. It was even kind of actively lovely on weekday mornings -- from the cafe you get a clear view of the Statue of Liberty, and on Thursdays three whole tables full of nuns would eat 99 cent breakfast with endless coffee.

I've been isolated due to covid for the past year and a half, so it's marked a halt to my trips to the Denver Ikea. If you go early on Sunday morning before the store opens, you can get free coffee and watch the traffic zoom on I-25 below. It's also nice on weekday afternoons if you have appointments in town and need to wait out traffic for a few hours.

I do the backwards trick that odin53 mentioned and it's the best possible way to do it. I have a shortcut route through the warehouse section that shoots you out to the one register that's rarely all that busy. Ikea and Home Depot and the like are particularly great for post-surgery exercise as you can walk with the assistance of a cart and you're so busy looking at stuff you don't fully comprehend that you've taken 5,000 steps without realizing it.
posted by mochapickle at 4:12 PM on November 7 [5 favorites]


IKEA can be fun.
posted by mai at 4:27 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


I swear there is something in the air there that is designed to make genetically predisposed couples fight. It is not a place of honor.

I came to this exact conclusion the last time we were in Ikea a few weeks ago. I was like there's just something about this place, it's haunted or something.

And by the way not really worth putting yourself at all for any reason these days. The only stuff they have in stock is the worst of their most useless cheap crap, without the good stuff sprinkled in like it used to be. It's like in my mind Ikea doesn't exist anymore.
posted by bleep at 4:39 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


There are Ikeas that sell prawn sandwiches and fish & chips? Is there a mailing list?

(I hate everyone. The ones at Ikea are at least moving in the same direction and easy to route around.)
posted by eotvos at 4:48 PM on November 7


The main attraction of IKEA, for me, is that the stuff they sell is so bland that it goes with everything. You’re never going to have to do serious style coordination with their furniture, unlike the stuff sold in so-called fine furniture stores.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 4:52 PM on November 7


It's not a real IKEA experience without a monkey greeting you at the door.
posted by delfin at 5:01 PM on November 7


Metafilter: a vegetarian in a world of meatballs
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:11 PM on November 7


“There are Ikeas that sell prawn sandwiches and fish & chips”

All the UK ones do, maybe it’s regional.

Anyway I love Ikea. I love the Daim ice cream cakes, the cinnamon rolls, the veggie meatballs, the cheap houseplants. I like their kids art supplies and reasonable kitchen basics (big wooden chopping boards, Pyrex dishes etc). When we moved to Canada our rental place was only part furnished, so we went and bought a load of decent bed linen/towels and children’s furniture on move in day, and we were in and out in under an hour.

I really really like their Christmas decorations and bottles of non-alcoholic mulled wine (not widely available in the UK). They do click and collect now, so there’s no reason to enter the store unless you want to.
posted by tinkletown at 5:41 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


Spatula City
posted by ovvl at 6:25 PM on November 7


There is an ikea-like experience on one of my favorite TV shows, Legends of Tomorrow, where they definitely explore the existential dread of attempting to relationship in Ikea.

But my Ikea has decent chocolate and an icee machine that usually works, so I'll occasionally brave the parking lot hell and get 15 lb of chocolate for $20 and an Icee and be happy.

My ex-wife and I definitely had personality differences that were exacerbated in an Ikea... Pretty sure it's some sort of psychological experiment created to cause friction between different shopping and personality styles.
posted by Jacen at 6:31 PM on November 7


I don’t know what it is about IKEA but it is the place we have had our worst arguments ever.

and

My ex-wife and I definitely had personality differences that were exacerbated in an Ikea.

Obligatory Liz and Criss fail the Ikea Test reference.
posted by jeremias at 7:09 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


I got stuck in the Billy Bookcase wormhole. Noooooooooooo
posted by Gray Duck at 7:23 PM on November 7


You are lying down in bed next to your wife, who earlier in this thread you had exclaimed you hypothetically would be divorced from after an IKEA fight. She is reading a book while you are browsing the internet on your phone.

You mention you have an IKEA simulator you want to show herShe slowly puts her book down and turns to you. She senses that this is really a cry for help….a chance to open a painful chapter even for just a moment….so that an apology can be given.

You show her the simulator linked from that weird blue website. You carefully try to balance your need to find the right opening to say you are sorry…like re-breaking a bone to set it back correctly, without getting so involved with the simulator that she mistakenly gets the impression you actually want to go to IKEA.

Her attention span is short and her eyes are glazing. So you put your phone down and hold her hand. The apology comes from your mouth. I’m sorry - IKEA was bad. I wronged you, and you were right to be angry. I will try to be better. I will never walk away from you again because a fucking bed frame doesn’t fit in our Subaru Outback. Though to be fair we were trying to squeeze in all your bookshelves and…….No you stop yourself. It’s an apology. Don’t be defensive. It’s ok. You course correct and squeeze her hand. It’s over. IKEA doesn’t have power over us anymore.

You both move on.

You then look around your bedroom and realize most of it comes from Wayfair. Have you really escaped or just moved to the next level?


You decide not to tell her about the simulatorYou hold your tongue. You have the strength to not mention the name of the beast, You feel the wave of relief pass over you as you realize there is life after IKEA.

Then you remember you are sleeping on an IKEA mattress - possibly the one from 2013 - THE Palo Alto IKEA store….the fight after that trip had been bad. The worst. Eclipsing even the Emeryville sheets and towels fiasco. Words were said. Cars were stormed away from. Tears were shed. You try to think of the good things in life - your child’s first words….the beauty of a clear snowy morning….but there is nothing….only IKEA and the fucking Saturday lunchtime traffic on the 101 north home to Redwood City…in silence.

So much for that extra hour of daylight savings time - your mind is melting.

You die of dysentery for some reason, possibly meatball related.

posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:14 PM on November 7 [9 favorites]


I once asked a cashier "do people ever have psychotic breaks in the store?"

"Less often than you'd think."
posted by wotsac at 8:34 PM on November 7 [11 favorites]


Theses on IKEA.

- I've only been to IKEA once. I don't like shopping in general, so I can't really comment on whether it was especially bad.

- That a furniture store has a large fandom is kind of perverse.

- I hate putting furniture together.

- That said, after recently putting together a non-IKEA chair, followed by an IKEA chair, something clicked. IKEA furniture may be annoying to put together, but their engineering is impressive.

- My SO brought home their vegetarian meatballs, and they are delicious. Easily the best vegetarian meatballs I've ever had. But, of course, IKEA won't sell them to me unless I physically go to a store. No thanks.
posted by nosewings at 8:43 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


Also, if Americans can put chocolate chips in bagels then Swedes can put kebab on a pizza. It’s a free country, acb. If you don’t want kebab or curry, then order something else. Hugs from Karlstad, home of plenty of kebab pizza. ❤️
Speaking as an American who's made probably ~1000 pizzas over the last decade and has gotten pretty good at it... that kebab pizza sounds 🔥🔥🔥. (I have also chopped up an In-N-Out animal-style double double and put it on a pizza, bun and all, and it was good. So I am definitely on the chaotic end of the pizza alignment chart.)
posted by kdar at 9:00 PM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Wordshore's pictures from Stockholm are lovely, but note that all the food is sweet. IMO, that is exactly the problem with Swedish food. Even the meatballs are sweet, the bread is sweet, everything is sweet. I feel I get diabetes just from looking at the pictures, and I don't get how Swedes can be so tall and slender.
Once, I invited all my students from all over the world to a dinner, where they were invited to cook their favorite regional food from home. All the Asian students made dumplings, regardless of which part of that huge continent they came from. And all the Scandinavians made waffles, though I suspect that the Danish student made her waffles as a joke. They were bright green, I have never seen anything like them. I don't even remember what else we had, I was overwhelmed by all the dumplings and waffles.
posted by mumimor at 10:39 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


this trope reminds me of my old, now mostly ex-, friends who weren't poor or particularly disadvantaged but emotionally felt defeated by modern capitalism really without even having joined the fight. like, we're not asking you to be revolutionary (god knows i'm not), but c'mon: the fact that giant corporations are trying to manipulate you wrecks your mindframe? why? just buy a fucking meatball, or don't.
posted by wibari at 10:39 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


I like Ikea for kind of the same reasons I like metafilter. The place as a whole is gargantuan but you only get to see a piece at a time. Each faux room is like a comprehensive post, each piece of furniture like a link with a description. They have meatballs to eat, we have croutons to pet.

I don't understand the hate for Ikea, but I want to. I am human, so nothing human should be alien to me. The part I can already relate to is hate in general. Hate is energized disapproval, so my question is what powers the hate in this case, what are the expectations being disappointed, what values being desecrated, what lines are being crossed?
posted by otherchaz at 2:17 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I generally like IKEA, though I have never been there with a significant other, which is probably it.
posted by acb at 3:48 AM on November 8


When I was married to an abusive, violent and generally not nice person, one of the few things we did well was visit big-box stores, including IKEA. To the extent that I would suggest a trip to IKEA to get a half day of peace. So perhaps arguing in IKEA is a good sign, that you have a sane relationship.
posted by mumimor at 4:33 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Also, if Americans can put chocolate chips in bagels then Swedes can put kebab on a pizza. It’s a free country, acb. If you don’t want kebab or curry, then order something else. Hugs from Karlstad, home of plenty of kebab pizza.

I've never seen or heard of chocolate chips in bagels in the US but I've had kebab pizza here; many of the pizza joints in my city are run by middle-eastern immigrants and not Italians.
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I've noticed that pizza restaurants are more commonly run by Syrian/Palestinian/&c. immigrants than Italian ones, especially since large-scale immigration from Italy is not as much of a thing. It's a bit how the typical barber's ethnicity has changed from Italian to Turkish with the iconography of his shop remaining largely the same.

Aren't there pizza-like flatbread/cheese/toppings dishes from all around the Mediterranean, with Neapolitan pizza being just one variant from this family, making it trivially easy for an immigrant restauranteur from elsewhere in the Middle East to pivot to familiar pizza with relatively few changes?
posted by acb at 8:25 AM on November 8


When I was on maternity leave I used to take my baby and then baby+child to Ikea. Good coffee and inexpensive breakfast with a play area in the cafeteria, or affordable kids lunch with a fish option. Nursing rooms all over. Huge rolls of paper to buy and take home. Crib sized duvets that washed well and were affordable...stools...hooks...bins...

Also, although we've been slowly upgrading slightly, at one point we probably had 75% furniture from Ikea - some garage-sale finds, some that we bought in desperation around storage. Part of it was saving money but a lot of it was saving the time it would take to find shelving, for example. We had our pre-child Billy period with a ton of books and then our post-child Expedit storage for toys. Now we're in our "high school student loft bed" phase. Eventually I guess we'll furnish one of the kids' rooms as a guest bedroom.

Echoing the backwards trick if you aren't amusing small children in a Canadian winter.

Today, I prefer solid antiques, but the time and effort it takes is often beyond me.

I have no beef with anyone who doesn't like Ikea, but for me it's been a lifeline at particular times and sometimes it feels like a lot of privileged snobbery to sneer about it.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:20 AM on November 8 [8 favorites]


I tried hard, but I could not get eaten by a grue.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:01 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Shoot, I was going to make a "maze of twisty passages, all alike" joke back at the beginning of the thread, then completely forgot to!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:07 AM on November 8


My town got an IKEA just a bit over a year before the pandemic started and while I'll buy furniture or whatever I really enjoy their cafeteria and would go for lunch on the occasional day off. I get why people don't like the place, but I very much miss those lunches.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:07 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I thought this was going to be a bit more... SCP-ish
posted by flyingfox at 10:15 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]


It is interesting reading about IKEA as I have never been in one and probably never will. There are no stores in Vermont, nor New Hampshire, nor Maine, nor anywhere in New York north of The Bronx. Millions of people suffering without Swedish meatballs!
posted by leaper at 11:05 AM on November 8


That was funny. But I don't actually hate IKEA. Maybe because I never ever go there on a Saturday?

Sometimes we use an IKEA store as a roadside cafeteria. Up the stairs, straight into the restaurant; we have a Family Card, so we get free coffee and tea. After eating, we head for the area with all the returns and discounted stuff, using all the shortcuts. Sometimes there are good deals to be found there. It's always worth a look.

They have some useful stuff that's pretty cheap. They have retro stuff that combines well with actual vintage stuff. The meatless meatballs are tasty! The food is better than what is served at McDonalds, in several ways. Possibly in every way.
And my partner and I never argue in IKEA. Maybe because we don't argue, period. We are mostly sane, I promise, and neither of us is abusive!

On the other hand: the maze system is irritating. And people who park in the loading zone should be publicly flogged.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:35 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Thank you for posting this because that is exactly, I mean exactly, what IKEA is like for me. The last time I was there (and it will remain the last), while we were trying to get out we invented a game called "New York Penn Station, 7th Level of Hell, or IKEA?"
posted by JanetLand at 11:59 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Oh, and obligatory Simpsons reference.
posted by JanetLand at 12:01 PM on November 8


The impressive thing about Ikea furniture, for me: Have stuff that's been moved between 4 countries and 3 continents, and it's doing just fine, 24 years old. I enjoy putting it together, too.
posted by Goofyy at 12:37 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Some of it is; it depends on the price point. At the cheaper end, there is the semi-disposable furniture that might survive one move, or at most two. At the higher end, it's fairly solidly built. (I'm typing this on a JERKER desk which I bought in 2004, and has been in six flats in two countries. OTOH, when I left London, I did throw out a clapped-out BILLY bookcase.)
posted by acb at 1:24 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Our book cases are Bondi, which I don't believe is around anymore. To be fair, it isn't easy to disassemble, so was always moved whole. But my partner had a desk he grew up with, and it lasted until we left South Africa. It wasn't up to another disassembly. Thing weighed a lot! We have a nice little sofa from Ikea that's still in fine condition, we bought when we moved to Germany in 1998.
posted by Goofyy at 5:07 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I like IKEA and loved the simulator. In fact I learned that I was pregnant with my first child when I peed on a stick in the ladies loo of the IKEA in Renton, WA, and so the corporation in general and that location in particular are fondly regarded in family lore.

Last Saturday I took an embarrassingly long road trip to the second-closest Ikea to my home since the first-closest didn’t have what I wanted (much less the 16 of them that I needed to purchase) and said items couldn’t be shipped. I too am perplexed by IKEA’s supply chain parameters. It was a beautiful day to be on the road, I enjoyed my stroll through the labyrinth, and I was happy to cart home my car full of Branas, which look smashing on my long wall of Expedit.
posted by Sublimity at 5:19 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


On the other hand: the maze system is irritating.

From this 2018 piece in the Financial Times (about Ikea's future after the death of the founder, Ingvar Kamprad): "Kamprad came up with the infamous labyrinthine store layout to ensure that shoppers made a maximum of impulse purchases in its market hall, full of higher-margin items such as rugs and lamps."

So, yeah, you're being irritated on purpose.

The next sentence: "Ikea has begun selling online but having workers select the furniture and then deliver it risks undermining the very model that has kept the company’s costs low."

Ikea, in the US anyway, has always intentionally been disinterested in shipping stuff. IIRC back in the pre-internet paper-catalog days they didn't ship AT ALL, and sometime in the early 2000's when I was looking to furnish a new larger apartment I read at least a few articles where Kamprad or other higher-ups openly admitted that they were only allowing some (expensive) online ordering of some stuff due to public pressure, but mostly they really didn't give a shit.

Ikea shipping is an intentional business model - for all that it may seem astounding to us in The Age of Amazon, they don't like it, don't want to do it, and make it difficult and expensive on purpose to discourage it.

For a while around the same time there was a whole little cottage industry that sprang up - mostly on eBay and Craigslist, but there were some dedicated websites and even some physical stores - where folks would buy Ikea stuff at their most local store, and then resell it, and even with a mark-up for profit it was still cheaper than paying Ikea's shipping costs. (And you could get stuff that Ikea would simply refuse to ship at all, like the tea light candles and other small things.)
posted by soundguy99 at 6:05 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I feel I get diabetes just from looking at the pictures, and I don't get how Swedes can be so tall and slender.
This is your regular reminder that people do not get diabetes from eating sweets and that people of all sizes get diabetes. It's dismissive of many people dealing with a serious chronic illness to make jokes like this.
posted by tangosnail at 12:03 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


This is your regular reminder that people do not get diabetes from eating sweets and that people of all sizes get diabetes.
My dad was a slender, healthy man who got diabetes2 when he was in his sixties. I know. I also know that you can indeed get diabetes from an unhealthy diet, because I have been on the verge of it for the last decade until I finally found a method of eating that works for me this summer.
posted by mumimor at 12:32 PM on November 9


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