Advantages Cheap, modern furniture
Disadvantages Bland, tiring, overcrowded, products often unavailable
|Range of products|
|Value for Money|
|Speed of delivery||Very poor|
It’s taking over. No home is safe. If you haven’t already got an item of furniture from IKEA, you will soon. It’s a virus and you are particularly vulnerable on bank holiday weekends, like this one!I joke, but is there no street in the UK where IKEA hasn’t taken hold? I myself have succumbed to this virulent form of décor. But if you haven’t already, I’ve drawn up a list of pros and cons to help you decide if you want to welcome the virus into your life or whether you want to batten down the hatches and resist.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SUCCUMB TO THE IKEA VIRUS?
(2) CHILD FRIENDLY
IKEA caters well for children. They have crèches, with funky looking pits of balls to jump into (wish I was still a child sometimes). However, unless you go on a Wednesday morning, you might have to wait to drop your kids off. When I went yesterday, the queue for the crèche was 45 minutes long. IKEA also has an excellent selection of stuff for children’s bedrooms, especially storage solutions.
(1) TIRING AND OVERCROWDED
Get your trainers on, do your warm-up exercises, make sure your bladder is empty and bring along some snacks. Negotiating this store is like undertaking a military exercise. Unless you’re looking for a pot plant, IKEA is a good 2-3 hour shopping experience. Prepare yourself. And if you’re shopping with a partner, make sure you’re loved up and there isn’t an argument brewing. Too many times has hunger, tiredness and irritability turned into squabbling and we’ve left without purchasing what we came into get. Oh, and by the way, on the weekends it is very crowded!
(3) THINGS ARE OFTEN NOT AVAILABLE
If you are going to IKEA with one item in mind to buy, try to call beforehand to check it is in store. I’ve lost count of the number of items I’ve wanted and got to the relevant section and surprise, surprise, they’re out of stock. I think it is because they don’t want to pay for extra storage space at the back, so they don’t keep massive surplus stocks on site. But, if you don’t have easy access to a car and have travelled quite a way for a specific item, it is rip-you-hair-out-frustrating. I admit to nearly throwing a childish sulk when they had run out of the cabinet we wanted. I think I even stamped my foot (shame on me!)
(5) OUT OF TOWN
One of the ways that IKEA cuts its costs is by basing itself in large out-of-town locations. Because it sells flat-packed furniture, most people need cars to take away the products. I can see the sense in this, but as someone who doesn’t have a car and relies on public transport, this annoys me no end. To get to the nearest branch (Brent Park), I have to take two changes of public transport to Neasden and then walk for 15 minutes alongside the North Circular Road, crossing over railway lines and the major road. This is ok on the way there, but imagine struggling back with heavy furniture. It’s just not feasible, so the only alternative is home delivery or the IKEA taxi service. As I’ll mention in my next point, try to avoid the home delivery service if you can. The taxi service is well worth the money if you are thinking of spending a bit. The cost depends on where you live, for me it cost £25. They pack everything into the taxi (more like a small van), drive you and the furniture to your home, and help you offload everything.
In conclusion, IKEA is immensely popular. So much so, that I’ve compared it to a virus. At first, I succumbed easily to the cheap prices and convenience, but I’m starting to regret it as I look around at some of the furniture and feel my flat has lost a sense of identity.
If you want to check out where your nearest store is, look at their website: http://www.ikea.co.uk
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