I really admire the way IKEA, that little 60’s upstart from Scandinavia, conducts their business. They are a model employer, through training and development and progressive human resources policies that allow flexibility and balance in people’s lives. IKEA knows how to treat their employees and really tries to deliver value and trendy designs for their customers who are looking to spice up their homes or offices.
But I can’t walk into their stores anymore. I just can’t. Every time I do, I get lost and it takes way too long to get something done in that stacked warehouse of theirs. The last time I was there, I wanted one item (silly me). By the time I found it (the signage is confusing and contrary to popular opinion, there are no shortcuts), 30 minutes into the journey, I then had to travel another 5000 feet to get to the check out line, which was a mile long and was taking forever.
This is not the first time I have had that experience but I keep trying to give them the benefit of the doubt because IKEA really is a terrific company. IKEA has been a model organization in developing global talent. It has expanded carefully and prudently, learning about the different countries it enters and adapting beautifully from assortments to dimensions of product, to, yes, store layouts. IKEA marketing is clever and memorable and its meatballs are tasty.
But I have had it. In this day and age, I do not have an hour or two any more to wander through a ton of departments that don’t interest me. I want to get in and get out, even if there are a half dozen items on my list. If Home Depot can do it, IKEA can do it. If Lowe’s can do it, so can IKEA.
People just don’t have the time nor the attention spans any longer, even to save a few bucks. It’s time that IKEA re-thinks their in-store experience. How can someone get in and get out much quicker? IKEA must ensure there are enough cashiers to guarantee the lines move faster – this is a cardinal sin in this day and age. I actually had to leave my purchase on the end cap because it was taking way too long and I had to run. I realy needed the item too! But the 4 lines that were open were jammed and 10 or more were idle. None of the lines moved quickly and it was extremely frustrating.
It seems like these are some easy fixes. IKEA, please let me know when you have overhauled your stores and I will come back then, because I still admire the way you conduct your business and how you treat your employees. It’s time to put some additional energy into your customer store experience.