According to the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, IKEA is finally setting up shop in Las Vegas…and that makes me smile.
What is an IKEA you ask? Let me try to explain. IKEA is a Swedish company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, chairs and desks), appliances and home accessories. So it is a furniture store? No. It is so much more. According to the IKEA website there are about 10,960 products in the total IKEA product range. The have art and rugs and lighting fixtures and cutlery and basically everything you would need to furniture a home. And meatballs. Yes, they have delicious meatballs but more on that later. The Las Vegas store will be 351,000 square feet with 1,300 parking spaces over 26 acres. Plenty big but not big enough to house everything which is why they publish an amazing catalog. IKEA published 197 million catalogs in 2010, in twenty languages and sixty-one editions. It is considered to be the main marketing tool of the retail giant, consuming 70% of the company’s annual marketing budget. IKEA operates the largest photo studio in northern Europe at 86,000 sq ft. The catalog is printed on chlorine-free paper of 10–15% post-consumer waste, and prints approximately 175 million copies worldwide annually, which is more than 3 times as much as the Bible. According to Canadian broadcaster, CTV, “Readers have found all kinds of strange tidbits including mysterious cat pictures, apparent Mickey Mouse references and weird books wedged into the many shelves that clutter the catalogs.” I would totally hide hidden stuff in the pictures. How fun would that be?
Practically everything in the pictures are available for purchase.
In fact look at the upper left corner of this picture and you will see a print of a zebra. That print comes in a set of three and they are on my wall.
Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943 by then-17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed as one of the world’s richest people in 2013 although I hear he is a lot like Warren Buffet in that he drives a 15 year old Volvo. The Daily Mail wrote, “He takes easyJet flights, drives himself around in a 15-year-old Volvo, and has furnished his modest house almost entirely with Ikea items – which he assembled himself.”
So how does IKEA work and what makes it so awesome? Check this store map out:
The place is sort of like a maze as you wind yourself through the different sections of the store and its one-way layout picking up your items as you find them. If you want an item such as a couch or bookcase that is too big to fit in your cart, you write the item down on an order slip and wait till you get to the end where thee is a place where those bigger items are stored on shelves and you grab it there. Almost everything is in a flat-pack form which means it is a form of furniture that requires customer assembly. The furniture components are packaged in a carton which also contains assembly instructions and necessary hardware needed for the buyer to follow in order to build the furniture item correctly. This keeps the cost down.
And since IKEA has so many products, you literally could furnish your entire place with the items IKEA sells. As you see in the pictures IKEA also has this sort of minimalism dorm room vibe to its design philosophy and that appeals to me as well.
Some folks such as those at 99% Invisible and IKEA Hackers are so into IKEA they have come up with ways to hack IKEA products. They explain, “IkeaHackers.net is a site about modifications on and repurposing of Ikea products. Hacks, as we call it here, may be as simple as adding an embellishment, some others may require power tools and lots of ingenuity.” Cool stuff. Check them out for sure.
They even have a IKEA Family loyalty card which of course I have.
Every store includes a restaurant serving traditional Swedish food, including potatoes with Swedish meatballs, cream sauce and lingonberry jam, although there are variations. It is absolutely delicious and rather inexpensive. I have sometimes gone to the store when I lived in Burbank just to eat there. The stores also serve local foods as well.
I am looking forward to the day IKEA has its Grand Opening in Las Vegas. You know that day I will be all smiles.
Have you ever been to an IKEA? Did you have the meatballs? What is your thought about this store and its philosophy? Share your thoughts in the comments. Would love to hear from you.
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