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IKEA – A First Attempt

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The single greatest event in the history of my city happened about a month ago – an IKEA store opened here. OK, that may be a bit overblown, but to listen to the buzz here in Atlanta, you’d think it’s not far off from the truth.

We’d been warned to not venture to IKEA on the weekend. But yesterday, thinking perhaps the mania had died down a bit, my wife and I decided to attempt it.

We didn’t even make it to the parking lot.

Turning in to the IKEA part of Atlantic Station – a huge new mini-city built on the site of an old steel mill – we encountered lines of cars coming from all directions, several “parking lot full” signs, about a dozen off-duty cops directing traffic and a sign pointing would-be shoppers to the “IKEA Shuttle”. It took us about 30 seconds to decide “no, thanks” and skip out of the gridlock.

It was a very smart decision, by the way, for the Atlantic Station folks to tuck IKEA away in the back of the development. It has its own entry and exit roads and kind of its own little loop around the store. And it’s isolated from the rest of the place, meaning the IKEA gridlock shouldn’t affect the rest of the stores, homes and offices. Smart.

The store is close enough to my office that I could hit it at lunch hour, so I may give that a shot someday. But the experience of just trying to get close to the place made me wonder how the hell it could be worth the hassle.

Sure, cheap Scandinavian furniture is a good thing, I suppose. But can any of you who’ve managed to get inside an IKEA say for sure it’s worth this kind of hassle?

I just don’t get it.

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About Capn Ken

  • Welcome to Malmo,Skymta,Tomeinal, and other wierd names.

    A very humorous look at traversing IKEA via a game-style interface

  • They are extraordinarily cheap for some things – at least in Britain – and of sometimes surprisingly good quality, but you do want to pick your time: never on a weekend.!

  • Martin

    I remember my one and only trip to Ikea at a weekend. It was to the Brent Park store in London (Ikeas busiest in the world). On trying to leave the store it took me 45 minutes just to get from my parking bay to the down ramp and another hour and a half before I got out of there. Now when I go to Ikea it’s always when I have a day off in the week and I try to get there for store opening at 10am. My mother still makes little shrieking noises whenever I suggest taking her with me.

  • I’ve witnessed IKEA openings in New York (one of the first in the US — in the late 80s or early 90s, I believe) and the Bay Area, and there was similar madness. It dies down after a while.

    Part of the draw is the set-up of the store, I think, which is kind of maze-like experience with a little diner at the end. I’m a freak for the Scandanavian juice they sell, logginberry or something to that effect.