Throw off the tyranny of the yellow arrows, wander where you will


THE labyrinth of an IKEA showroom is ingeniously designed to coax its customers into buying as much flat-packed furniture as possible, the company’s success due, in part, to confusing its customers into submission, a recent study concluded. It found that the weaving yellow path leaves customers disorientated with no idea where the exit lies. And while IKEA stores are required to include shortcuts for fire regulations, these are always positioned outside the customer’s normal field of vision: behind him.

So, more S&M than M&S?


With 283 stores in 26 countries and profits last year of £2.3 billion, is this criticism founded?

Now, there are massive arrows on the floor all the way round every IKEA so it seems to me that, if people can’t find the exit, it means they don’t understand what an arrow is.

And we’ve all known for ages IKEA – like any large supermarket – wants to take you round the whole store before you reach the exit. Those who moan that by the time they discover the check-out, they’ve lost the will to live simply need to do a short course in how to read common signs.

And if they don’t like going through a flatpack warehouse, obviously they shouldn’t go there. If they get stressed out of their minds from being walked through all departments, getting momentarily disoriented and on their phones to locate their partner, they shouldn’t go there either.

If they want a really short shop, then they definitely shouldn’t go.

Unless, of course, they’re already familiar with the layout and those arrows…

But people of the world, rise up – you CAN go backwards in IKEA. Throw off the tyranny of the yellow arrows, wander where you will.

You’ll get glared at a lot, but what revolutionaries haven’t? Like any shop, most stuff is signposted. Simply look up – the ‘shortcuts’ are well marked. You don’t need to traipse around the entire store. It’s like walking up and down every aisle at the supermarket when all you want is bread. Don’t tell me you lot do that too …?

There are also store guides, assistants to guide you, the opportunity to purchase online in the UK. And, of course, you always have the option of not buying. I really don’t understand this idea that people are ‘forced’ to buy this or that. IKEA doesn’t make any extravagant claims for its products – flat packed, reasonably priced, displayed in a warehouse. Don’t like it? Don’t go!

Nora Johnson’s novel, The De Clerambault Code ( available at Amazon. Profits to Cudeca




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