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The IKEA Online Store is a Bad Idea and Must be Stopped

Why the IKEA Online Store is a Bad Idea

This week I heard the saddest news to hit my inbox since the passing of Joan Rivers; an IKEA online store is on the way.

For some, I’m sure the news evokes feelings of joy and rapture; the realisation that there’s now an avenue that allows them to gush over – and purchase – Billy Bookcases without having to leave the house.

But for true IKEA addicts, which is a club I consider myself one of the pseudo presidents of (along with the DAA – Decorating Addict of Australia club), the news of an IKEA online store feels like a slap in the face. Like when the cashier has the nerve to ask you if you have an IKEA family card and want to swipe it at the checkout (like not having one is even an option, Melanie!).

A trip to IKEA is like being a contestant on Gladiators (if you’re too young to remember that show, you really missed out on the awesomeness that is Vulcan). It’s an endurance sport, and it’s not for the weak. You are a challenger facing obstacles at every turn; ones that test you emotionally, mentally, physically and sometimes spiritually. And true IKEA lovers enjoy every minute of this tumultuous, nail-biting and thrilling in-store journey.

Vulcan from 90s Gladiators
Challenger, ready? Yes, IKEA is like the gauntlet on Gladiators

Going to IKEA will make you will question if there is a god, And you’ll ask him why he let you get to the warehouse after four hours of shopping only to discover that the product you want is out of stock. Are you being punished? Is this karma sorting you out? You’ll never really know, but it’s a necessary rite of passage in life, and an IKEA online store prevents that from happening.

I also feel like an online store takes away my right to fill up my enormous calico bag with assorted knick knacks that have been slashed in price, down to just two or five dollars each. Sure you can do that in an online store, but where’s the fun in getting to the register with all of those bargains, only to realise that the calico bag contains 73 items at $5 each and you’re now expected to pay a $365 bill without actually knowing if your card is going to approve or decline the purchase.

You certainly don’t get to experience that rush, fear and exhilaration sitting in your pyjamas at home! And you certainly don’t get to have the card decline and then begin the exciting process of deciding which of your $5 items you’d like to put back when there are 14 people behind you in the register wanting you to die immediately if not sooner.

It took me four hours to get this rug and it was completely worth it

An IKEA online store would also prevent me from experiencing the hilarity that is almost every couple arguing at least three times during their shopping trip. I learnt my lesson early on and now leave my partner at home (a solo IKEA trek is the only way to do it), but for the rookies who are slow on the uptake, this is another necessarily element of the IKEA adventure. Where’s the fun in arguing over pots and pans behind your laptop screen where nobody can hear you and feel awkward about it?

If you do wish to go to IKEA with your partner, and by some miracle of the universe, you emerge still coupled, consider this a sign that you’re meant to be together forever. Forget couples counseling; nobody makes it through the IKEA children’s department together unless they’re solid. If you can get through that without taking out a toddler, you’ve just earned soulmate status and should probably propose over meatballs in the IKEA food court.

Yep, I’m convinced that an IKEA online store is a bad idea and makes life far too easy. Call me an old person, call me a stick in the mud, but I think bricks and mortar stores are still worthy of our time and effort.

And besides, if you get an IKEA order delivered, where’s the fun in getting eight boxes to your car after 3 hours of shopping and realising that, after attempting every configuration known to man, the boxes don’t fit and you have to call a family member to come bail you at at 7pm on a Saturday night? And nobody answers their phone. They saw you checking in at IKEA on Facebook. And they want no part in it. 

IKEA, I beg of you… please don’t open an online store. If the reasons above don’t convince you that the current shopping experience is a necessary rite of passage for anyone who enjoys flatpack furniture, I don’t know what will.

PS: If I can recommend one thing you introduce, that would help this emotional rollercoaster become a smoother experience… an IKEA wine range wouldn’t go astray. An Allen key bottle opener would be right on-brand, don’t you think? A little flute of bubbly you could carry through the store while you shop, perhaps? 

Are you happy about the upcoming IKEA online store? Drop a comment below and let me know what you think.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve discovered if you go in through the out door (slip in through the self serve checkout area) you can drastically reduce your shopping time if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t ever take your husband, they hate it, & always grab a few of the $1.50 chocolate bars on the way out – it beats no chocolate on a Friday night.

  2. Oh I love my trips to ikea, it’s like playing hookie for the day.
    I could see the convenience of you lived far away, but now with ikea being 20min up the road instead of 50, it’s heaven.
    Well to me, not hubby lol
    My son even gets super excited to go, his own trolley, picking out decorating ideas, it’s even enjoyable when he comes… & hes 5.
    I do love the wine idea too… The perfect addition to the shopping joy of ikea

  3. If it means I never go to Ikea again, then yes I’m happy. I’ll leave those trips to style devotees.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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