IKEA's floor plan: Is purposefully meant to confuse and bewilder!

My wife and I went to the new IKEA down the road from us last night. I had been in one before and felt the same bewilderment I felt last evening. You walk in, are ushered upstairs into the maze. The wayfinding points scattered about the place are a joke. There are little cut-throughs and secret bat entrances all over. The kitchen wares go into linens and things, and the damn bedroom furniture area leads you to a 2010: A Space Odessey looking office space! We walked around in circles until I finally asked the attendant how to get to the lamps! “Oh thats easy sir,” the attendant said, "just go through that crossover, take right past the linens around the funky chairs and through the east crossover and you’ll see the lamps :slight_smile:! "


Ok she didn’t say funky, but you get my drift.

Has anyone else had a bit of a hard time navigating through IKEA?

Yeah. I especially hate those flat carts that always drift sideways when you push them. But I like their meatballs and lingonberry sauce. Their apple cake and coffee is usually good too. :slight_smile:

The ‘path’ is designed to lead the shopper through different departments so as to increase the likelihood that the shopper will see something to buy that s/he didn’t think of buying.

I haven’t had any trouble navigating. But then, there are arrows painted on the floor. After you’ve gone through it once, it’s easy to find the place you’re looking for next time.

Everyone does, I believe. If you get lost, then you spend more time looking at things you can spend money on. They like that.

A civil engineer in Houston once told me that, if you are going at or somewhere near the speed limit (loads of traffic cops always in sight, btw) around the Houston Galleria (giant, mostly upper middle class to full on wealthy shopping mall), you are most likely going to be stopped at a light near one of the parking garage/lots entries. The feeling being that impulse control might fail and people would go on in and shop. I don’t know how much credibility to give his reason, but the self testing I did at various times of day on different days seemed to prove out his original point (the one about being forced to stop near entrances).

Anecdotal, take with kosher salt grains.

Tsk! You forgot to bring your walk-through guide:

You’re supposed to look at everything in the store, every time you go. If you do that, it’s a perfect floor plan. Otherwise, not so much.

What I don’t like is that I usually buy stuff on the first floor, and there’s not usually a good way to get there from the entrance on the first floor!

Do what I do: Go in the out door.

I understand the marketing behind it. I don’t have to like it though :slight_smile: Plus, I’m always temped to buy one of those funky chairs…

Somewhat on topic; the naming scheme of ikea products.


Ikea rocks, but good God, I went through it three times before I found all the furniture I wanted. My apartment looks vaguely like an Ikea showroom, except, well you don’t need a ball of twine and markings on the floor to find the bathroom.

IKEA seems to be a Swedish acronym for “Sorry, that’s out of stock”

Or, once the car is stuffed with all the boxes, “I Kan’t Enter Auto!”