Attention Shoppers: This Is Every Type of Ridiculous Person You Encounter at Ikea
Bargain furniture shoppers are no strangers to the overwhelming experience that is Ikea. After all, the mega-store reads more like a foreign country than a personalized shopping trip. And one of the most comical parts of it all, without a doubt, is the store’s clientele. Because Ikea customers run the gamut from first-timers to seasoned professionals, surviving Ikea has become a popular topic.
From the absolutely unbelievable to the totally confused, these are the types of people you’ll likely encounter on your next Ikea mission.
1. The person who goes just for the meatballs
Mmm, meatballs. You’ve tasted them, and you’ve loved them. Perhaps you even have a few frozen packages sitting in your freezer right now. At least that’s what this person does — the person who visits an Ikea location solely for the meatballs.
For a furniture store, one might wonder how Ikea became known for its meatballs in the first place. Fast Company reported that Ikea started slinging its signature Swedish meatballs in an effort to appease “hangry” customers. Gerd Diewald, who runs Ikea’s food operations in the U.S., says the meatballs have always been called ‘”the best sofa-seller.”
Thankfully, someone on the Ikea Food team picked up on the revenue the department saw — in 2013, annual sales were $1.5 billion. And because of this, we just might be able to enjoy those tasty meatballs without having to step foot in the store. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it seems Ikea is entertaining the idea of opening its very own restaurant locations.
Next: New couples, beware.
2. The person who’s shopping for the first time with their partner
Taking on the mega-store with a relatively new significant other is a mighty brave move. Not only will your individual likes, dislikes, and styles come to surface, but your overall threshold for all things home goods will be put to the test. Why doesn’t your partner love that dining room table as much as he should? And what’s the deal with those unsightly plates she just has to have?
If you happen to run into a first-time Ikea-shopping couple, there’s only one thing to do: Run. Avoid potential blow-ups, and save yourself the misery of having to witness first-hand why these two can’t seem to decide on a shower curtain.
Next: There are better options than Ikea.
3. The person who only needs a small, single item
Here’s a little tip for the customer shopping for one single, small item: Don’t do it. Aside from wasting way too much time finding their way through the maze of home goods, do they really think they’ll get out of there with this item alone? Here’s our tip to them: Spare yourself the temptation to buy what you don’t need, and search for that spatula somewhere else.
Next: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here.
4. The person who thinks they’ll be leaving with an entire kitchen
Just one trip probably isn’t enough to lock down an entire kitchen, even if you do have a mapped-out list of must-haves. And unless they’ve scoured the store’s website and written down each and every thing they need, they’re probably not going to find it all at their local store anyway. Not to mention, the likelihood of actually loving everything they saw on the internet is a bit of a stretch.
Next: Nap time, anyone?
5. The person who snores while napping on the furniture
Oh yes, this is really a thing. In fact, it’s much more common than one would think, especially in China. And according to The Wall Street Journal, Ikea is totally OK with it. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Fall asleep on a sofa, fall in love with it, and buy it. Go figure.
Next: Some folks actually think this is a good idea.
6. The person who brings the entire family as something to do
“Taking the whole family to Ikea as a rainy day activity sounds like a great idea,” said no sane person ever. Just as Disney World is a family-friendly park, Ikea is a family-friendly store (more on that in a minute). But does that mean you really want to be there with screaming children in tow? Absolutely not. These people need to do themselves a favor and plan a different family activity. Because as your fellow shoppers will attest, Ikea is not that place.
Next: Don’t be this person.
7. The person who leaves their kid in the play area for too long
As we’ve established, Ikea is a family-friendly zone; the store even has a free kid-drop-off center. These supervised play areas are Ikea’s answer to encouraging parents to shop until they drop. But not so fast. Although it’s a great service, it’s important those with little ones don’t take advantage of the system.
The big wigs might think the initiative is brilliant, but how do you think the minimum wage babysitters feel? It won’t be long before the intercom system summons these childless-for-the-day parents to come collect little Johnny at the play area.
Next: New apartment = so much to get!
8. The person (and their roommate) who just moved into a new apartment
Moving into new digs is an exciting experience, particularly when you do it before you’ve invested in an entire house’s worth of furniture. And for those shoppers who haven’t yet needed to furnish an entire family home, this Ikea trip is all they have.
Have you ever encountered two roommates running through every section of the store, giddy with delight and naivete? If so, then you know exactly how soon that spark will burn out. It’s inevitable. And before they know it, they’ll be searching for those ever-necessary meatballs to keep them going for round two.
Next: Nothing short of an Eagle Scout
9. The person who can expertly navigate their way through a maze
Some people have sensational spidey senses — a trait that proves invaluable while shopping at an Ikea. This person makes shopping at Ikea look like a child’s game. While you’re strolling around trying to decide which way to go next, this guy’s running circles around you — successfully, no less.
Next: And quite the opposite …
10. The person who needs a road map at every turn
On the flip side of the previous point, most people fall into this category of Ikea shoppers. And that’s OK. But the thing is, there are maps at the store that can help solve these problems. Would it kill these confused, frenzied folks to take a floor map when they enter the mega-store? They can even use a version of Google maps specifically poised to work inside stores like Ikea.
Next: This person is totally clueless.
11. The person who’s ‘looking for inspiration’ (i.e., has no agenda)
You know these people. They’re the ones wandering aimlessly through the aisles, looking “inspired” at every turn. Their only hope for the trip is that something will strike their fancy. If we can suggest one thing to you, their fellow shopper, it’s this: Do not get stuck walking behind these types of shoppers. Just don’t do it.
Next: Lists, lists, and more lists
12. The person who knows exactly what they want
Quite the contrary to anyone who’s entered the store without a set list, some folks will get just what they need and nothing more. Typically, these people fall into the die-hard-Ikea-fans category. Don’t get in these people’s way; they’ll run over any fellow shopper who stands in their way of securing the perfect set of silverware.
Next: Fat chance
13. The person who’s hoping to redecorate their entire house
Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to find every item you need in order to satisfy your inclining for a total interior overhaul. And that’s OK. But unfortunately, not everyone has come to grips with the fact that no, they won’t be leaving the store with a couch for every room and a lamp for every bedside table.
Next: Display rooms for everyone!
14. The person who buys the entire room on display
When the former kind of shopper gives up on searching for specific items, they might be driven to another path. That’s when Ikea strikes gold with their sales floor models.
Of course, we’re talking about the plethora of display rooms. And who would blame those who are weak to the powers of stiff sofas and rigid coffee tables? Because hey, everything you need is perfectly laid out for you. No thinking involved with this one.
Next: Somebody give this person a medal.
15. The person who makes it out without buying a single thing
This person is truly a sight to behold. They deserve an award for making it through the entire store without being persuaded to buy one single item. Not too surprisingly, stores have a master plan for getting customers to spend money, and for Ikea, it has much to do with how the space is set up. For the customer who manages to make it out sans merchandise, we salute you.