ikea shopping roneysmith

By now you already know that I am an early adopter of technology especially as it relates to the internet. I will share things that many will hoard as precious family secrets or heirlooms as a result.

But this morning my wife Wyteria and I experienced a low tech introduction to a store that is immediately being placed within my top 5 places to go for a great retail experience.
My interest in visiting an Ikea store was recently spiked with an excessive amount of fuel when I learned within the past week that Ikea serves food in addition to the various products designed for the home, office, or any living quarters:)
My trip was originally going to be planned for tomorrow (a Saturday), but the idea was too good to keep to myself. My wife mentioned going when her schedule would permit and nothing else was as critical as making our way to Ikea as we did this morning.
Here in Atlanta, we knew that it was going to important not to get trapped in the daily traffic and fortunately the hours of the Ikea store is a fit hand in glove.
They serve breakfast before the store fully opens I believe and the restaurant is fairly close to the store entrance. But let me back up just a little.
The building that hosts an Ikea is much larger than one would imagine. There were at least 2 parking levels and the spaces immediately outside the doors were filled.
We parked as close to the entrance on the parking level that we entered and as the hour was quickly approaching 10 a.m. (the opening hour), there were at least 30 to 50 vehicles already there.
I had discovered via the Wikipedia entry for Ikea that the store layout is like that of a guided museum design where one is expected to follow a certain order while there are short cuts to quickly move from one area to another throughout the store.
There are maps with a checklist provided at the entrance and throughout the store for one to navigate your way through the store with ease. Other than missing a moving sidewalk, you will soon begin to recognize people around you by face since your collective commute through the store is in a series of stages.
Big yellow bags were available on the area we entered and later we saw shopping carts that even moved sideways which was very impressive. I am not sure that any other store known to most people will allow you to parallel park the cart sideways:)
We also saw huge, blue bags that were oversized to a degree that one would think that you will be forced to buy something in a Costco quantity to justify the size.
After taking one short cut within the store to get out of the snake-like progression that most shoppers were on, we found ourselves in a children’s section.
My wife Wyteria quickly skipped through the baby section as if an immaculate conception was possible through product radiation:D I enjoyed the subliminal compliment but I moved just as fast to not experience a planting season myself:)
Then the delicious aroma of food was on the horizon. Now again, this was my most significant motivation for wanting to visit an Ikea location and it was on!
Wyteria ordered her breakfast in a rapid fire manner like a drill sargeant and she said that the Asian server grabbed the plate from the young sister that was going to serve us. Then I asked if the heavier lunch and dinner items were available only to find out that they are served no earlier than 11 a.m.
When I stumbled through the menu and items like someone who has never been to a McDonald’s before, the same Asian lady gave my plate back to the young sister like she was thinking “In my Asian culture, we have no time for indecision. Either have or have not”. This was a nonverbal lesson learned and funny at the same time.
The food was cheaper in price and had a higher quality than most well known restaurants that serve breakfast and more accessible.
The seating area was more colorful and exciting than many places as well. I will not hesitate to go back just for the food alone since the items were capable of sticking to one’s ribs while being tasty at the same time.
One thought that was confirmed during our trip is that the Swedish culture must be very driven to minimize their possessions while maximizing their living quarters. There was no fat or excess on anything throughout the store. Everything is designed with an efficiency and function unlike most items seen within Wal-Mart and heavily trafficked stores founded or based within the United States.
The store is very unlike any furniture store that I have ever been to or without the hype that Home Depot, Lowe’s, and even Target are known for.
I saw the products offered very straight to the point like Olympic record breakers Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. There was no drag or dead weight seen anywhere.
We ended up putting several items into our hands and later a shopping cart and realized that the Ikea commercial where the female shopper shouts “Start the car, start the car!” was as accurate as one will feel and think within an Ikea store:)
Neither one of us could believe that several items were as inexpensive as they were and the quality was highly discernible.
We did not get a shopping cart upon entering the store out of not wanting to lug around anything that might not be used. But there will be something or several items that one will easily find an usage for as well as to replace something that has lived past its usefulness.
I am a man’s man while having enough metrosexual traits to not irritate beyond reason my wife and daughters. But I simply have not found a furniture store of any nature that captured and held my attention as long as Ikea did. Even the technology stores that have office furniture never held the magnetism that I experienced today.
I already had scoped out an office chair online and when we finally saw it, my expectations were not disappointed. Although we did not buy it as this initial trip was more of a scouting expedition, I will feel totally comfortable ordering it online if the shipping and handling are within reason as well as throwing in the same order some lightweight items that will balance out the overall cost in our eyes.
Bottom line, I highly recommend that you immediately visit the Ikea website, request a catalog, and whenever the opportunity is available for you to experience a store firsthand, then take full advantage of it.
I received the best advice on Twitter from only1cassie who suggested that at least 2 hours are set aside to fully experience the store.
If you visit my history of microblogging about Ikea, you will see that the presence of food pushed me over the edge from mere curiousity to action:)
Go for the food or just go to see that there is a place where men can still be men and not get bored out of our minds!
I saw men of all ages and there was only one guy who was asleep or napping within the store and this was probably just as much due to the degree of comfort he experienced on the nice chair he was sitting on:)
I am not sure whether there is a stock on the US financial markets for Ikea or not or whether one has to invest within a foreign financial market, but Ikea is one company that will have to go a long way to throwing their business strategy in a trash can to copy the excesses many other CEOs and board of directors have foolishly done.
Ikea has taught me a lot about the Swedish culture indirectly and what is indeed possible without going overboard.
Before I forget, my wife and I watched the movie “The Bucket List” last night and mention of the Swedish fruit ligonberries was confirmation that our trip was due. Although I did not have any for breakfast, I did manage to get my wife to painfully indulge me to take a picture of me in the restaurant and later tolerate a jar of ligonberry preserves being put into our shopping cart:)
I will probably need to blog about the taste of ligonberries later as well as the ligonberry juice I will need to experience on a future trip without spousal overnight or intervention:) But Ikea was all good!
Finally, I want to thank everyone online that shared something about Ik with me. Your thoughts and experienced were very much appreciated and led to my wife and I having a great morning on our visit.