advice from an IKEA veteran

Enough of all this talk about crime and abuse of women. It’s time to get to what’s really important.

Here follows a list of notes from yesterday’s IKEA trip.

1. It’s huge enough that even at 10:30 am yesterday, the store didn’t feel too crowded. The loading dock, yes. The store, no. That said, if you dislike feeling crowded or you really want to be able to get a cinnamon roll, wait until the newness has worn off.

2. And trust me: after standing at checkout for twenty minutes, smelling cinnamon rolls from the bistro, you will really want a cinnamon roll. IKEA: Manipulating Shoppers Around the World with One Hand Tied Behind Its Back Since 1943.

3. Should you decide you want a cinnamon roll and a $2.99 lamp now, my recommendation is to park at the parking garage on 16th Street by State Street. It was $2, they didn’t charge me extra when I’d been there 2 1/2 hours, and at least yesterday IKEA was running a shuttle, although it’s only about a five-block walk should the shuttle not be running or should every available shuttle be headed for the more expensive lot. There were rumors of a shuttle to and from MARTA’s Arts Center station, but I never saw any actual shuttle. There is also the massive IKEA parking deck, although traffic patterns are so convoluted right now I’m not sure how one gets to the massive IKEA parking deck, exactly.

4. You can drop your kid off at “Smaland” (Swedish for “Family-friendly businesses make MORE MONEY, beeyotches!”) as long as they’re toilet-trained. I highly recommend this if you want to make it through the children’s furniture section with your wallet even close to intact.

5. Should you have to get around the building to the loading area, my sympathies. You will have to go under the ramp that leads to Northside Drive; my recommendation is to approach the IKEA from 17th Street and turn right.

6. The enormous amount of excitement over a furniture store . . . well, since when was Atlanta not a consumerist town? The good news is that said consumerism seems to cut across racial lines, from what I saw. What with everyone in a festive mood, the IKEA may have been the most integrated, harmonious place in Atlanta yesterday.

7. With nifty cheaper-than-the-website lamps.

7a. But get your light bulbs at Costco.

7b. Or the Lowe’s near where Peachtree becomes Peachtree Industrial. Ask for D’AndrĂˆ. He’s nifty and helpful.

8. Why yes, Naomi Klein is authorized to shoot me on sight, thanks for asking.

6 Comments so far

  1. (unregistered) on June 30th, 2005 @ 11:27 am

    There is a shuttle from the Arts Center Marta that goes through all of Atlantic Station (since Marta doesn’t run there, yet at least. It’s one of those white airport-like shuttles buses. If you stand on the corner on the West Peachtree/15th St, it will pick you up there.. runs about 10 min loops. It’s not very well publicized, which is why people don’t know it runs..

  2. karsh (unregistered) on June 30th, 2005 @ 1:27 pm

    The lamp looks nifty; I’ve been waiting to visit IKEA until the newness dies down, which hopefully will be right around payday. :)

  3. Reid (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2005 @ 11:04 pm

    We went during the day Thursday, hoping to avoid the peak opening day crowds, and the first weekend crowds. A lot of people, but manageable.

    We even made a well timed trip to their “restaraunt,” only to find it was more like a bad excuse for a cafeteria, with only two choices. And at 5 ’til noon, they were out of one of them … their alleged specialty, swedish meatballs. Leaving a choice of poached salmon or a kid’s meal of lukewarm mac’n’cheese.

    So I highly recommend the furniture and accessories, but ignore the hype about the “restaurant.”

  4. atl (unregistered) on July 5th, 2005 @ 6:15 pm

    Bear in mind that it is a cafeteria and with excesses of 20,000 people visiting the store daily, things can get a little hectic. As far as the meatballs, if anything they were changing over pans…trust me a company that orders meatballs by the # of pallets does not run out the day after opening, so just have patience people..everything new has glitches…ps for everyone who hasn’t been there..the meatballs are $1.99 special a plate..add it up 20,000 people and that deal..? come on now

  5. Reid (unregistered) on July 6th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    Sorry, but we got in line about 11:35am on Day Two, with perhaps 30 people in front of us, not 20,000. While I can understand an occasional meatball outage, they were not at all slammed, and though we waited a good 15 minutes for that “outage” to end, it never did.

    Like I said, I can write that off to a short term kitchen glitch. But what I found confounding is the alternatives … nearly none. They call this a “restaurant,” but my experience was “fish or lukewarm macaroni and cheese.” That hardly qualifies as “cafeteria.”

    I’m sure it will improve, but I’m sorry, on my visit it was unacceptable (in other smaller ways, as well).

    But we didn’t go for the food, they just hyped us into that. We went for the furniture. And that was a Grade A experience.

  6. atl (unregistered) on July 7th, 2005 @ 6:25 pm

    Well it is like they say, you don’t go to red lobster for a hamburger…or at least i say. i agree it is not a restaurant but the main purpose of ikea is furniture as you stated. the “restaurant” is to make your shopping a little easier by not having to leave the metropolis of ikea and come back. Strictly a quick bite and back to shopping, and granted they should not take so long to replenish, but forgive and forget and move on to the salad bar next time or the cinnamon buns. it’s all supposed to be convience and hopefully next time you will return and find yourself pleased.

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