Tuesday, June 06, 2006

talking points

1. the impending opening of our local branch of IKEA:

of course i have to weigh in on IKEA. that's not to say, however, that i am going to use this opportunity to critique capitalism by way of this swedish-design megalith. quite the opposite. i like IKEA as much as, if not more than, the next guy. the company provides high quality, attractive goods that are genuinely affordable. that is, the company says they are affordable, and, lo and behold, they are. from what i understand, IKEA's labor practices are decent as well: no sweat-shop labor, employees paid above living wages, great benefits and childcare policies. it seems that a corporation can indeed prosper by doing, more or less, the right thing. i plan to shop at my nearby IKEA as soon as, and as frequently as, possible.

but: i recently heard an ad on the radio announcing IKEA Canton's grand opening on june 7. this advertisement informed -- nay encouraged -- shoppers that they could begin to line up at the store a full 48 hours before its opening. who would do this? who needs furniture this badly? it's not concert tickets, people. nobody, and i mean nobody, needs home furnishings more than i do (come to my apartment and see for yourself the relative lack of such essential things as beds and places to sit; also, adequate lighting; and the long awaited luxury item: a foot stool!), but there is no way that i am spending 2 days lined up in a fucking parking lot off I-275. i have lived for this long without the foot stool; it's not going to kill me to wait a few more days.

but: god forbid IKEA should run out of foot-stools or futon covers. what we have here is the faulty scarcity principle upon which modern shopping (and, of course, the long and tortured history of capitalism itself) relies. do these would-be shoppers actually think that if they are not one of the first shoppers in the door, IKEA is going to RUN OUT of furniture? or that they must somehow be the first to get one of IKEA's mass-produced products in order to prove that they are not copy-catting the neighbors? welcome back to the 3rd grade. hint: if you are buying furniture at IKEA in the first place, you would do well to give up any illusion of your own originality before someone gets hurt.

this whole "lining up at IKEA" thing becomes more fascinating the more i think about it. you know, i might just drive over there myself and ask those people if they are OUT OF THEIR GODDAMN MINDS.


Blogger kfd313 said...

yeah dude, but there might be *sales*....

still, i doubt that the "lining up" thing is even meant to be taken seriously; it's just an interesting marketing ploy: getting to shop at IKEA worth waiting in line for a rock concert--all the cool kids are doing it. It's about scarcity *and* demographics.

Happy sign of the beast day! 666 rules!

4:25 PM  
Blogger sarah ruddy said...

i just saw on the news that there are, like, A LOT of people out there. with tents. and when interviewed, not one of them offered a reason for being there aside from "i'm weird and the prices can't be beat."

as good a reason as any, i guess.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Jessica Smith said...

that's weird... to IKEA's credit, though, that would never happen in Sweden. Which is where they get their general business principles (non-sweatshop; all furniture can be "recycled for energy" (i think this means you can burn it?); people are reasonably paid, etc.) This lining-up thing must be part of an American IKEA marketing scheme :)

The food is the best part, though.

I love IKEA, but I can't go onto the show floors anymore, I always get lost.

12:16 AM  
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