Dear IKEA Wembley,

Today you turned a mild-mannered (well, maybe a medium-peri-peri-mannered) writer into a snarling beast. Today you turned what should have been a simple errand into an ordeal, and made me stand outside your store and shake my fist at the heavens, yelling, “As God is my witness, I’ll never buy another pack of 100 tealights again!”

Do you want to know why? Well you probably don’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s this. You know that Brand Experience/ Retail Psychology/ Up-Their-Own-Arses Media-Trouser-Wearing Agency you hired at a sum of heaven knows what? They’re wrong. They. Are. Wrong. What they told you to do with your store to “enhance the retail experience”, or “grease the customer funnel” or whatever other bollocks phrase they fed you in that hundreds-of-thousands-of-pounds, multimedia document you paid through the nose for… they were wrong.

You see, I know your store. I’ve shopped there a lot and I know where to find the things I have come to buy. I do my research ahead of time and find the warehouse location of any furniture items. I may often pick up extra bits and pieces, and I’m certain to make use of the canteen, but my shopping regime at your, and other stores, is get in, get what I need, get out – partly because I have better things to do, and partly because I am inevitably dragging a whining toddler with me.

But now, when I come into your store, you've cordoned off the downstairs entrance, and you force me to trek through the whole fucking showroom, following arrows on the floor, behind so many other sad people, all robbed of hope, like a herd of beef cattle being corralled towards the stun-gun room. You've moved everything around, and now you make me wander haltingly through every last sodding department, despite the fact that I have come to your store to buy a duvet cover and a crappy £1.25 waste paper basket.  Now I know I said that I've made impulse purchases in IKEA before, but I meant a lamp, or maybe a throw. Not a fucking spare kitchen.

But… and this is the best bit of all, the bit that made fangs grow from my jaw and hair sprout from my knuckles… when I went to the stand in reception where I know I can find a yellow bag for my aforementioned bits and pieces and a handy tiny pencil, I discovered that you no longer offer store maps. I *must* now walk the predefined route without guidance. I may neither know nor guess whether the items I have come to buy are around the corner, or whether I might have missed them. What if I need to retrace my steps, IKEA? What if I turn and swim upstream like an eager, Fjällsta-photo-frame seeking salmon? Will I be ejected for my rebellion? Will the other zombie shoppers turn on me and devour me? No. I must keep going forward, ever forward, to the ultimate nirvana of the self-checkout tills and the 60p hot dogs, whereafter I may once more be free.

In an interview with the Daily Mail this week, your customer relations manager, Gerard Bos said: “As part of the IKEA shopping experience, we aim to offer a fun day out for the whole family and we welcome everybody to be inspired by our range and to touch and feel our products.”

Well, let me tell you this, IKEA… it wasn’t a “fun day out”. It was a day in which I yelled at my small child and barked at my university-going son, for whom the expedition was undertaken. It was a day which gave me an ulcer and a firm resolve never to return… unless I come back in order to shove your Losjön right in your Lillången.

Incensed of Mill Hill


Graham Chestney
09/12/2013 09:15

Well done for getting out alive, I'd have committed hari-kari with the nearest sharp implement.

09/12/2013 11:52

Well done you .. That place is dated ... Can't fool us any longer .. The bubble has burst for that retail outlet ...

09/12/2013 14:42

I have never been in an Ikea store in my life, and never intend to go into one in the future. Seems I made a good decision in the first place.

09/12/2013 15:43

So true but at least in the UK you can buy things there cheaply. Here at Ikea in Australia we have to pay more than double because we live in Australia. Same products same store, and most of the stuff comes from Asia and yet…we pay more. I used to be an Ikea-ite and loved it. Not any more.

09/12/2013 23:13

We were forced round the arrows on the floor bollocks in Croydon in 1993.never been back since.

09/13/2013 03:40

Oh the truth of it! My challenge is usually to get in and out with ONLY the item or items on my list. Aye, right!

09/15/2013 06:56

And the previously good meat balls are now crap as well.

11/29/2013 10:56

New Spanish and Portuguese managers have taken over-the don't know jack

02/21/2014 03:32

I pick up a lot of stuff for customers and most of them always tell me how bad their service has been right from entering the store where staff are unable to help to checkout where they just add up anything to make up a figure


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