Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm Glad Someone Else Doesn't Like IKEA

I hope rlpants at Echo and Sway doesn't mind if I repost his rant over here. I've had my own misadventures at the new IKEA in Atlanta. Basically, both times I've been, I felt like something on a conveyor belt waiting to be processed. Something happens to people when they go there. It's hard to explain. And it's just downright bizarre when folks start taking on this Euro-chic front as if their names were Anders and Lars, when their name badges say "Andy" and "Lamar."

With apologies to my friend, Michael Pernfors, the whole thing has caused me to question Sweden as a peace-loving nation. These IKEA's are spreading slowly but surely. And I'm just not sure that the legacy of ABBA will be good enough to overcome this. As far as I'm concerned, they can keep their dollup of lingenberries!


There are pros and cons to any retail establishment. Let it be enough said that...we got the furniture we needed, at a decent price, and very stylish, too.

It's what you have to go through to get it.

The IKEA store in the Atlantic Station area of midtown Atlanta is a big, blue monstrosity--the 15 acre complex includes enough parking for every yuppie in the greater Atlanta area, and some change. There were cars in the lot from all over the Southeast. The building itself is 366,000 square feet and includes a couple of restaurants, a play area for kids, and zillions of pieces of furniture and other home decor items.

There are, as far as I know, two levels to the store--the top level is the furniture showroom, and the bottom level is where you can actually buy shit. Items are classified into two categories--stuff you can pick up yourself, and stuff you have to wait several hours for.

My warnings to those considering shopping at IKEA are as follows:

--there's no signage that explains what to do or how to get things...anywhere.

--there are two people working there for about every 17,000 customers.

--they are both rude.

So we pick out some stuff on the showroom floor, we stay within our budget, and I do an ok job of retaining my sanity through the process.

Then we go to try and actually find the stuff we picked out. No major problems, but we chose two items that fall into the "we get it and then we hand it to you" category.

There was never any signage explaining this. On the nice little slip that explained what the red and yellow tags meant, there was no clue given as to who to approach to get this process started, and well, the two employees on the showroom floor were busy talking to other we asked a young man when we got down to the "pick out your furniture area."

This kid needs an absolute kick in his ass. He helped us, begrudgingly, and laughed sarcastically when Dawn told him the info he needed to look stuff up. She didn't know exactly what the number of two nightstands were, but knew the name. Every time--as they narrowed in to the item--they missed slightly (and it only took Dawn two tries to give him the correct information) he smarted off and smirked sarcastically...

This pissed me off royally and I spoke out--I told him, hackles raised on my neck--that "I could go find attitude somewhere else, I didn't need his" or something.

He ignored me and finally we got what we needed--but I just didn't appreciate that.

IKEA falls into the category of business I despise--the kind popularized in that most famous and for me, most hated episode of Seinfeld, the "Soup Nazi."

They have what people want, the price is right, and the demand is so high that they don't have to exhibit a pleasant attitude toward the customer.

I think the Southerner in me really comes out in situations like this. Let the "Soup Nazi" be rude to this Georgia boy, and he'll wear that soup. I'll just go home and make some brunswick stew. (ROTFLMAO)

I tend to enjoy shopping places where my business is appreciated.

No one's soup...or that good.


Rocky said...

I felt the exact same way on my first vist to Ikea. The employees were rude, and no one told me where to go to pick up the item I was buying. I actually spent a full 1/2 hour standing in the return line - only to find the warehouse pickup line was about 30 feet to the left. I swore I would never go back again.

For whatever reason, I did go back - and it was still bad. But I went back a third time, and suddenly I found myself really liking the entire Ikea experience. Price played a major factor (coffee table and end table for $130 total - can't be beat). Now I'm hooked... maybe I've been drugged.

The same could be said for the entire Atlantic Station complex. I didn't like it at all - but it's slowly growing on me. Today I was eating lunch down there at the Fox Sports Grill and I thought "I kind of like this little fake Hollywood studio lot city we've created on the old brown field."

Button Gwinnett said...

I have to admit, I'm kind of fond of Atlantic Station myself.

rlpants said...

This is SO fun, I had no idea you'd borrowed my post--and please feel free!

I do have to admit a liking for Atlantic Station in a more general way myself--its just that creepy blue building...Grr!