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.