can you imagine going to Walmart and having to walk past every item in the store just to get to the plastic storage container you wanted. Then what if Walmart made you continue to walk past every other item in the store then take a stroll through their warehouse before allowing you to checkout. Thats not the American way, thats how they do it in Sweeden, ooohh they are so much smarter. And what’s with those goofy names. I bought a GORM and when I put it together it was BJORKIN.
Why does IKEA have their food store outside the checkout lines. After you check out, you must hang around with paid for stuff and you are an easy target for theives. we got a bag of IKRAP stolen while getting a cheese sample.
Only having been familiar with the radial store layout in Chicago I was horrified to see what you’re describing in the San Diego store. A really horrible shopping experience! Also probably the only time I went (was forced) through the entire store without picking up at least one piece of IKRAP.
Since I’m from Cincinnati I tried to order some furniture from the online store. That didn’t work out though, they canceled my entire order (bed, desk, chair, and quilt) b/c the desk chair was out of stock! I decided to order something from Target.com. Hopefully they won’t let me down.
Maybe home-improvement isn’t the answer… Maybe home-destruction is the answer.
seriously tho, IKEA kicks ass! Their owner: richest man in the world. Store layout: effective at increasing sales. The products: the best design you can get before you start laying it down for the iittala glass and cappelini sofas. The experience from start to finish is planned, hitting on all self-home-improvement impulses - planning, spec’ing, thrift, assembly and construction.
I like the Ikea store layouts, but for quick shopping like Wal-Mart, it would be horrible. In other words, I go to Ikea once every 6 months or a year when I need something and I have time to just wander and look. I go to Wal-Mart maybe every month specifically for something cheap and I would hate to have to walk by all the crap they have. Perhaps this is a battle of sexes thing though, because my wife loves to look at everything in Wal-Mart, leaving me asleep about 1/4 the way through!
If the designer in you hates the IKEA shopping experience wait until you actualy work with their design managers. I have and let me tell you they are the most difficult client you could ever work with. No concept of design other than “hey that looks cool can you knock it off for us”
Actually their design process is pretty brilliant: they start with a price and design backwards from there. ie. the brief is something like “$20 lounge chair.” Then they work very closely with their manufacturers to make it work. This is why the only innovation you’ll see has to do with using an old technique in a new way. I recall reading an excellent article in Fast Company or something about a year ago.
But back to the store layout: are most IKEAS layed out labyrinth style, or radially?
Most design briefs for major manufactures work “backwards” (in my experience anyway) . I have worked with their design managers and design process and I can tell you it is a frustrating experience. Everything comes down to cost and ascetics with almost no emphasis on innovation. The reason for the old techniques is that their manufacturing is so low cost and much of it is now done in China, yes even the “Scandinavian” bent-wood!
As for their retail concept, now that is innovative!
And what, that’s unique to IKEA “design managers”? These are the same obnoxious, iliterate retards controlling a good 2/3 of consumer-product design today, and essentially those responsible for what appears or disappears off retail shelves every year. These common peddlers exist across many product categories and industries. Sad, but they control the very image of product design at the consumer level.
IKEA is no exception, it’s not even where design meets the bottom line, but where the bottom line buried responsible authentic design for good. Shade of things to come? You bet.
ikea took good advantage of student income shoppers and combined it with china’s cheap production and relatively unknown out of college designers.
it takes money to do a thing like ikea. their business model was not based on any tradition approach to furniture design and obviously the idea worked. it probably had some hint of bauhaus before start but it turned out into a customer based service. meaning they had to contemplate on the idea whether the customer would be able to put together a chair or a cabinet.
well it worked because they made it easy and in a way fun people who were ready for this type of idea and it caught.
so from a consumer standpoint it’s a good franchise.
but from a design perspective it might be a bit harsh both in terms of current design influence and future development. specially since everything is now almost 100% automated and to design these in cad it doesn’t take that much effort.
i myself have bought some ikea furniture just because they’re so damn cheap. if i wanted to make my own it would probably cost me 3-5 times as much.
so there’s a good reason for their success. but that doesn’t mean someone can’t beat them in every aspect of the work.