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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday October 11, @04:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the better-sell-screwdrivers-also dept.

Ikea will start experimenting with selling its famous flatpack furniture through online retailers as part of a wider push to become more accessible to shoppers.

The Swedish chain - known for its vast edge-of-town outlets - is also testing a smaller city centre store format.

Other innovations include order and pick-up points and standalone kitchen showrooms.

The moves are a response to changing shopping patterns.

Ikea has has not said which websites will be part of the test, but Amazon and Alibaba are thought to be likely contenders.

The chain sells many of its 9,500 products on its own website, but was a late arrival to the online retail market.

Waiting on an endless line at the checkout is the best part about buying Ikea's goods.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:58PM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:58PM (#580572)

    > Waiting on an endless line at the checkout is the best part about buying Ikea's goods.

    Gee, and all those years I thought assembling the furniture was the best part, where did I go wrong?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @05:02PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday October 11, @05:02PM (#580574) Journal
      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:07PM (#580580)

        But I'm not lazy...

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:16PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:16PM (#580585)

      "Waiting on an endless line" implies waiters are offering impulse items to customers waiting in an endless line. Think of the jobs that can be created for pushy sales to captive customers.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:26PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @05:26PM (#580595)

        Job posting:
            Ikea is looking for sales people who are willing to double as punching bags...and not fight back.
            (it's always a bad idea to hit the customers, even if they are hitting the staff).

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 11, @06:13PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 11, @06:13PM (#580647)

          Every member of the crew will get a free Protektor and MoufGaard, and optionally a Kuup.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:30PM (#580729)

          Ikea is looking for sales people who are willing to double as punching bags

          Jobs for Nazis!

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by i286NiNJA on Wednesday October 11, @06:12PM (1 child)

        by i286NiNJA (2768) on Wednesday October 11, @06:12PM (#580646)

        That sounds awful please never mention this idea again. It sounds exactly like someone's idea of a good idea.

        • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Wednesday October 11, @10:46PM

          by t-3 (4907) on Wednesday October 11, @10:46PM (#580832)

          Nothing to fear in that idea. Retailers know that the checkout line is when the customer is at the most volatile and lay likely to make additional purchases, and thus speed and service are priorities. Don't give your customers a chance to think! Skillfully arranged and run stores will place temptation after temptation in front of you, and get your money out your pocket before you do any kind of cost analysis or rethink your decisions.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @01:09AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @01:09AM (#580890)

        The airline industry is already perusing this. I give it 2 years before they have people walking along the boarding lines asking people if they want to pay to jump 10 people ahead in line. You can already pay to bypass most of the the security screening line. Remember all those award miles? They've recently came out with a new class of seats where you don't earn miles when purchasing them.

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Thursday October 12, @12:07AM (2 children)

      by richtopia (3160) on Thursday October 12, @12:07AM (#580860) Homepage Journal

      Honestly it is the meatballs. I really dislike the Ikea shopping experience, but for some reason I keep finding myself in the store eating those damn meatballs.

      And once you enter... there is no way back but through!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @01:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @01:35AM (#580906)

        I got breakfast there for about two dollars on inauguration day.

      • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Thursday October 12, @08:54AM

        by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday October 12, @08:54AM (#581037) Journal

        Minced meat (500g), breadcrumbs, egg(1), salt, pepper and if you want add a dash of milk (more milk means more breadcrumbs). Mix together, roll into balls, fry in butter.

        You can skip the breadcrumbs (or add diced ham) to it.

        It is easier to roll if slightly chilled so popping the mix into the fridge for an hour (or the freezer for 15 minutes) does wonders.
        -
        For the sauce just make a bechamel/"white sauce" (butter, flour, water and a dash of milk/cream) and add some dark soy (and a dash of jam or apple sauce) and some black pepper.

        Serve with lingonberry jam and boiled potatoes.
        -

        Btw, once you've gotten a touch for making meatballs you like just start making large batches (1-2kg of minced meat) and freeze the fried-and-then-cooled meatballs (they will freeze to each other so do remember to portionsize the bags), it thaws nicely in the microwave and goes great with pasta (use ketchup if you don't like to make a new batch of sauce).
        (Yes, you can go from "I want meatballs" to having a hot meal in about 30s longer than it takes you to cook the pasta)
        (Unless you've tried it - boiled-then-cooled potatoes keep in the fridge for a couple of days and warms decently in the microwave)
        (For best microwaveable sauce-like-thing use spinach soup, freeze it in cubes)
        -

        Now you have no more reason to visit ikea :)

  • (Score: 2) by deadstick on Wednesday October 11, @07:41PM (2 children)

    by deadstick (5110) on Wednesday October 11, @07:41PM (#580737)

    If they really wanted to be "accessible", they wouldn't hide things in a maze to con you into walking past the whole inventory.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Aiwendil on Wednesday October 11, @08:06PM (1 child)

      by Aiwendil (531) on Wednesday October 11, @08:06PM (#580756) Journal

      All IKEA-stores I've seen are easy and quick to navigate and quite trivially arranged...

      So, here is the trick, read the map over fire escape plans and then do a quick "visit the rooms" (IKEA is arranged as multiple boxes [rooms] you can move between with ease) to just get a sense of category grouping, after that you should have gathered enough data to be able to find about 80% of the stuff on the floor simply by remembering what you just saw.
      This btw is the trick for expos, warehouses, big stores, harbours, trainyards, and airports.

      However the one thing you never want to do if you want to move point-to-point is follow the arrows (unless it is for emergency exits) since those are aimed at allowing people to see everything without backtracking (hence a one-way flow of people in the warehouse and none of that running into the same person at every shelf).

      They actually are wonderfully optimized to deal with sheeple and to allow fast travel for the ones in a hurry, but I guess it is annoying if you never really bothered to look at the building and the walls.

      • (Score: 2) by deadstick on Wednesday October 11, @11:42PM

        by deadstick (5110) on Wednesday October 11, @11:42PM (#580851)

        I agree that you can take an efficient route if you know how, but I'm turned off by the way they disguise it. The signage is cleverly written to make the shortcuts look like emergency exits.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:47PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:47PM (#580742)

    Is it Ikea ... or "hike"ea? I went to an Ikea store once. You have to walk a specified path which takes you through the ENTIRE STORE in order to buy one item.

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday October 12, @02:03PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @02:03PM (#581127)

      Only if you don't notice the small hanging signs saying "Shortcut to ...".

      But yes, they do want people to walk through the entire shop by default. Then you're more likely to spot something else to buy.

      Big discount retailers in the UK (Poundstrecher, B&M Bargains in my area) have started rearranging their aisles so that on entering the shop you have no choice but to walk the length of the first aisle to the very back of the shop, even if you just want to talk to the cashier. At least in Ikea there are cut-throughs you can use if you spot them.

  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday October 11, @08:37PM (10 children)

    by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday October 11, @08:37PM (#580784)

    I'm not a fan of Ikea. Why someone would throw out or give away a hand made, finely crafted piece of furniture made from real solid timber and spend about as much in real terms as was probably paid for said item on a few rectangular boards of plastic covered fiberboard with a few holes drilled in them and maybe a groove or two is utterly beyond me.

    It's like modern art. Scamming people out of large sums of money for something that costs almost nothing in terms of time, effort or cash to make.

    --
    Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Thursday October 12, @12:13AM (2 children)

      by richtopia (3160) on Thursday October 12, @12:13AM (#580865) Homepage Journal

      You implied that people have finely made furniture to begin with. Ikea has always filled the starter home niche, so the Ikea furniture may not be the best, but it is functional and can be replaced gradually as required.

      I dislike the Ikea shopping experience, but they are also one of the few locations I can buy minimalist furniture from. Also, they make reasonable decisions when it comes to sustainability: they don't depend heavily on China for manufacturing most products and do take steps to responsibly source products, while maintaining competitive prices.

      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Thursday October 12, @08:03AM (1 child)

        by acid andy (1683) on Thursday October 12, @08:03AM (#581027)

        I take your point. What I take issue with is households that did have the more traditional finely made furniture and chucked it out just because "new is better" and replaced it with stuff made from MDF. There are plenty of people that do this. Also, because of those people, you can often find the finely made furniture second hand at very close to the price of the flat pack MDF item - although I appreciate you're losing the convenience factor and would likely have to pay quite a bit for delivery. It's just the "new is always better" attitude that gets to me, when in this case, it isn't.

        --
        Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday October 12, @03:46PM

          by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @03:46PM (#581178) Journal

          Eh, while I'm not personally a huge fan of the "traditional finely made furniture," I do think that's a very different category than the Ikea style stuff. If I'm looking at Ikea, I'm not looking for "a bedroom dresser"; I'm looking for "some kind of long squat thing with drawers". Bedroom, living room, bathroom...doesn't matter, it's all the same. I'm not looking to buy a complete bedroom set, I'm looking for a bunch of modules that I can mix and match and modify to get the configuration I actually want. I think I only have one piece of furniture that I use exactly as designed (my kitchen table, which probably qualifies as "traditional finely made furniture"...which I was probably talked into wasting money on by my parents.) Some of that furniture I built myself; some I bought but only assembled part of it and threw the rest in my scrap bin; some I bought and then added additional parts or hardware. And I'm no carpenter, I don't have woodworking tools, I'm in a small apartment where the only power tools I can really have are a drill. But I can cut something square and I can paint it black, so that'll match any of these cheap MDF pieces just fine.

          I don't buy that stuff because it's cheap or because it's new, I buy it because it's the only available style of minimalist furniture *modules*.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DECbot on Thursday October 12, @12:15AM (1 child)

      by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @12:15AM (#580867) Journal

      As a new(ish) homeowner, I'd love to buy your real solid timber furniture--but either it's crap or I can't afford it. If I have to buy crap just to have seat while I save for quality, it might as well be cheap and stylish. Once I'm done blowing money on debt and savings, I may look for this quality furniture you're talking about--because at that point the kids will hopefully be beyond their most destructive years. More likely, I'll have amassed a garage full of woodworking equipment necessary to make marginal solid wood bookshelves and tables. As long as it is good enough to keep the wife from blowing more cash at Ikea, then it is good enough.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 12, @02:49AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday October 12, @02:49AM (#580932) Journal

        I have some stuff from Ikea. It's easy to assemble, but it also falls apart quickly. The dressers are useless because the bottoms of the drawers warp out immediately and make it impossible to pull out, with items from upper drawers cascading into the lower. The furniture is uncomfortable crap. But if you can't afford real furniture and insist on having a consistent look & feel, it's a solution.

        If you're willing to tolerate a degree of eclecticism and do a little work, you can get some nice pieces for less than Ikea would cost. You pick up what other people throw away or want to get rid of in a fire sale and refurbish it. We filled up most of our house that way. The best find was a full sized leather sofa on Craig's list that had some damage to the leather, and whose elastic suspension had sprung. $80 for a side of chocolate leather from a wholesaler in Queens, a little elbow grease, and we had a fine sofa instead of the spending $3K we had been prepared to spend at Macy's for a brand-new one. Also used the old, distressed leather from the old one to create some cool-looking wallets, belts, etc.

        Of course it takes time to do that, but it's a good return on investment because that piece will last and last. Also, it beats watching TV.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @02:56AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @02:56AM (#580937)

      I have some of that type of furniture. Well, it's not the real hand-made all solid wood stuff, but it's the lower-grade stuff they made 30 years ago, with real wood front and sides, but cheaper wood composite for the back and drawer interiors. Still far better than what they sell as "good furniture" these days.

      By the end of the month, I'll be rid of it all.

      Why? Because I'm moving, and paying to move furniture 1500 miles across the country is not cost-effective; that stuff is heavy. Since it's nice, it begs for regular dusting and maintenance. You can't move the damn stuff easily to vacuum under it. (I wasn't handicapped when I bought it, but I am now; thanks cancer.) It's actually cheaper to buy replacement Ikea fiberboard items at the local Ikea when I get there, even with paying Ikea to pick and deliver it. It will be lighter and I'll be able to move it (most of the stuff I'm getting will have wheels for that purpose). Most importantly, if it gets damaged, who cares? As a plus, I _like_ putting Ikea stuff together; it's fun, although I'm a lot slower at it then most folks. I'll have time.

      A friend of a friend of a friend who lost everything in one of the recent hurricanes is moving into my current area, and almost all of it is going to that family, to help them start their lives over. The friend chain is coming to pick it up from me; this way I don't have to pay anyone to haul it all off to the dump (or try to sell it on Craigslist and get murdered).

      I know I'm an edge case, obviously. But this is just one answer to your question: the finely crafted stuff simply doesn't meet my needs anymore. I have better things to do than dust all the little nooks in fine furniture (I draw the line at crannies, they stay dusty).

      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Thursday October 12, @08:07AM

        by acid andy (1683) on Thursday October 12, @08:07AM (#581029)

        Fair point.

        --
        Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 12, @03:00AM (2 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday October 12, @03:00AM (#580940) Journal

      finely crafted piece of furniture made from real solid timber

      I haven't made "finely crafted furniture" yet, but I have made Adirondack chairs from real solid timber. We live in an area with lots of oak and other hardwoods. After big windstorms I go out to the woods and look for windfallen trees. The wood for the Adirondack chairs came from a big oak that blew down on the block at the inlaws' house in the suburbs during Hurricane Sandy. It lay partially blocking the road for more than a week, with all the neighbors bitching and complaining that the city wasn't coming around to take care of it. So I took a chainsaw out, sawed it into suitable lengths, and shaped it into chairs. It was a fun project, even though I felt like I was cheating a little bit by using power tools instead of hand tools.

      I had taken windfallen timber after the previous big storm, Hurricane Irene, and make my kids a bunch of wooden toys like samurai swords, so the chair project was the next step.

      Making finely crafted furniture you could sell for big dollars is a real skill it takes years to master, but you don't need to know that much to create functional pieces and you'll enjoy the hell out of them, far more than store-bought, because you will have made them. Also, they're custom. My chairs all have a cup holder large enough to hold the gigantic Hofbrauhaus beer mug I brought back from Munich. It's the only quantity worth drinking beer in.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
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