IKEA in Schaumburg, Illinois
IKEA is a furniture store chain from Sweden, and about 10% of its 424 stores are located in the U.S. These are incredibly large, high-volume stores that make IKEA the largest furniture retailer in the world. While the chain operates in 52 countries, it’s likely that many of you reading this have never been in one of its stores. Based on my visit, in addition to experiential, I would add the superlatives of inspirational and colorful in describing the store. And talking to a few shoppers, there’s a perception of great value. I estimate the Schaumburg store to be roughly 350,000 square feet, with two upper levels featuring furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories on display, while the lower level is set up as a warehouse that contains much of the ready-to-be-assembled furniture. On the Friday afternoon I visited, the store seemed quite crowded in spite of its massive acreage.
- When you enter on the first floor, you are greeted by an escalator and a single display model room that gives you a sense of coming attractions before you travel to the second and third floors, which contain room after room of inspiration.
- As you ascend to the second floor, you are greeted by one of several “road maps” that provide a guide to all of the departments. The store layout becomes a circle that is navigated in a counter-clockwise pattern. It’s fascinating in that it’s difficult to navigate if you try to not go with the flow. Between virtually all of the shoppers following the pathways and arrows (on the floor and overhead), you are caught up in what essentially becomes a treasure hunt for not only furniture and appliances, but for an endless array of tempting home accessories that are reasonably priced.
- Here’s an inspiring display of what a closet/sitting area might look like in a loft setting. Impressive how nothing is left to chance in the design of these IKEA mini-showrooms.
- One of the extraordinary things about the staging of the room displays is the comfortable look they achieve. You can imagine yourself making yourself right at home. I saw that in many of the displays as shoppers were relaxing as if they were in their own houses. Note that in this example, the signage is prominent and easily understood. This “dream room” at $1,446 includes sofa, other furniture, mirror, lighting and draperies.
- Speaking of being comfortable, check out this couple being just that – not unlike dozens of other shoppers who took advantage of the welcoming display of room sets. These two were literally selling themselves on the elements of this collection they wanted to purchase. Salespeople, while available, seemed to never make the move to offer their “assistance."
- In addition to the many bedroom, living room and office settings displayed, there were a dozen kitchen settings with cabinetry, appliances, lighting and decor for sale. Each display room is impeccable and inspires the creativity you can examine for your own house.
- As you can see from this image, relaxing on the furniture is a customary part of the shopping experience. In the seasonal department, a gorgeous array of garden furniture tantalizes shoppers as they look forward to breaking winter’s grip.
- Upon touring the beautifully designed rooms, which alternate with the promoted household decorations, you are struck by the spectacular color combinations that make you think of your home design in inspired ways. In each case, there is an item that is featured as a great value. In this case, it is the cushions for $4.99 on the shelf and in bins.
- Here is another beautiful display of decorative throw pillows. The orange “NEW” promotion was used 25 times across the store for featured items. Note the great lighting effects that are used for each of the displays that dot the circular walkway referred to earlier. In touring the store you don’t miss one tempting display to fill your basket.
- One of the gathering places or destinations at IKEA is the Restaurant & Cafe in the middle of the second floor. The line was impressive and there is seating for about 250 people in this very busy part of the store.