Saturday February 20th 2016
I got an idea to go to Ikea in search of cabinet organizers. I have never been to one, but I’ve heard they have lots of interesting home furnishings. It turned out to be a good experience without achieving the shopping goal.
To get to the Orlando Ikea, I had to travel on Interstate 4 through the resort corridor. This named stretch of highway provides access Disney World, Sea World, the 2 Universal Parks and all of the International Drive tourist dives. It has more traffic volume than the road can sustain. Stop and go traffic through the area is the norm. Sure enough, my average speed for the 20 plus miles was closer to zero than the speed limit.
Once I navigated all of the twisting streets around various big stores, I found the Ikea at the back of the Millenia shopping area. The designers of southern malls seem to like putting in curved divided roads with lots of trees. Perhaps this is to keep speeds down. Up north it would make snow removal a nightmare. It sure makes navigating by sight difficult. I was right next to the big blue building before I knew where I was.
The Ikea store was laid out as a shopping journey. While you could take short cuts right to what you are looking for, it was easiest to follow the arrows on the gray floor. You start by going up an escalator to the show room area. You then weave your way through various vignettes of furniture and other home furnishings. If you seem something you like you can write down the product code and bin location of the stock. After touring the displays of the furniture in action, you proceed back to the first floor to the Market Place area. This section of the store has products for sale in a more traditional sense; shelves, counters and stacks of merchandise to purchase. At the end of this area you can search the shelves for any products you wrote down up stairs. It all comes boxed in as small a package as possible. Ikea is famous for the assemble that is required.
At the half way point in your journey through the store there is a restaurant. It served meals at reasonable prices. My guess is they don’t make money on the restaurant. The Swedish based chain included Swedish Meatballs on there restaurant menu. It wasn’t lunch time so I didn’t sample any of the offerings.
There were many people in the store. At no time during my journey through the store were there less than twenty people in view. Every group seemed to be buying something. I made the big purchase of a $5 plastic tray. Most of the twenty numbered checkout registers at the end of trail through the store were open with a line of people waiting to make their purchases.
Living in a motorhome, I don’t have much use for the bigger furniture that Ikea sells. I probably won’t be going to other Ikea stores, unless it is for lunch.