Read Part 2 here.
Our last day was spent at the IKEA Concept Centre in Delft. It is an actual IKEA store with learning and research spliced in. In here, IKEA studies customers' interactions with their products, floor displays and information. They conduct experiments to better the flow, engage the customer and look into every small detail such as the floor directory to help customers find their way through the store.
For the uninitiated, the first visit to IKEA can be harrowing - the crowd, the maze, the self-service-dunno-how. My first time, I felt sucked into a blackhole with no way out unless I obediently followed the arrows. Now 10,000 trips later, I have the floor plan and shortcuts etched on my palm (till IKEA Malaysia smartly went and renovated their store, just to throw me off!)
The good news is, IKEA works tirelessly to improve the customer's journey through the store. Denis, the very animated store manager of IKEA Delft, took us on a tour and explained the ins and outs of the journey.
|The redesigned store directory to get you from Point A to Z - inspired by subway maps.|
|Denis, store manager extraordinaire, revealing his playbook.|
Denis also proudly pointed out a few hacks they did in store. I was impressed with the use of their PAX wardrobes to hide different sections of a room such as the workstation, washroom, media centre. Close all the doors and the room is serene with just a daybed, coffee table and no clutter.
|Room with many PAX, each housing a different function|
|Wash up in a PAX|
|Workstation in a PAX|
|Solutions for attic rooms common in The Netherlands|
|Instant feedback machine - only at Delft|
|I also have the chance to view the new Paper shop. Like!|
|The paper range is limited at the moment. Looking forward to more.|
|We had a good discussion with Torbjörn and team|
|Fika time! Hot cinnamon buns to sweeten the deal|
Win! Win! Win! For all parties.
I get to continue to run this site as is. My readers get to continue sharing their hacks and be inspired by hacks from others. And well, IKEA, get to continue selling more furniture to people who want to hack them.
And that was the best news from my 3 days with IKEA. I wanted to do a celebratory somersault there and then. But one must act appropriately in the presence of a CEO.
To Torbjörn, Lena, Henrik, Anders and Jenny, thank you for making this trip possible. It is one of the most illuminating and inspiring trips of my life. I learnt so much and had so much fun. I never thought it possible but I do love IKEA even more.
Hej då and hope to see you again!
After the heavy lifting, we chilled at the Royal Delft and found our animagus. Lastly I want to thank two special persons who went with me and supported me throughout the trip. Kat and Sook Han, thank you. The trip was great, but you two made it awesome!
|Thank you team! Sook Han Wong (left), Katherine Law (centre)|
Couldn't have done it without you gals.