Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Did you know this about IKEA?
Who here doesn't like IKEA? OK, I see some chickens don't, and I can see why. It really looks like we can't get enough of IKEA's fried chicken wings. They move close to 25 tonnes of these each month from the Tampines outlet alone! TWENTY FIVE TONNES! Yes, in Singapore, the wings outsell the world famous Swedish meatballs.
I learnt those astounding facts from a special tour that IKEA Tampines held for bloggers. We also found out many other insider and interesting facts, thanks to the two IKEA veterans who led us through the outlet.
Yes, the festive decorations are out in full force. The store displays help inspire ideas on how to use their products. IKEA actually visits real homes to get a sense of the dimensions, and plans the store displays accordingly. Some of the best store ideas also come from employees instead of designers.
IKEA likes you to try out its products to your satisfaction. Most of us know the Sleep Studio lets you test out the mattresses to see which fits you best. But we tend to just test it by sitting and bouncing on it. The best way is actually to fully recline on the mattress. Yes, they want you to do that. Go on, don't be shy!
At IKEA, they try to make reduce materials wastage. The LUSY BLOM cushion, for example, makes use of leftover materials from quilts for its filling. The bedding materials you see in the background? Notice that they are generally off-white in colour, as IKEA does not use any optical brighteners, thus reducing the amount of chemicals that you'll have in contact with your skin.
Here's a list of about 80 improvements IKEA has made over the years. There are so many areas: forestry and wood, cotton, climate change, emergency relief, food safety, elimination of harmful materials, sustainable living, renewable energy, social initiatives, prevention of child labour, transport logistics, and waste minimization.
And under social initiatives, there is the partnership with UNICEF. For every soft toy or kids' chicken nuggets meal that IKEA sells, it will donate one euro (about S$1.75) to help educate kids. This was started in 2003, and since then, the effort has raised 35.2 million euros (S$61.6 million) benefitting more than eight million children in 40 countries.
(Pssst...the children's section in IKEA is my favourite!)
IKEA is one of my key retail therapy sources. Even when you buy something small, it just feels good.
But I confess I have way too much IKEA stuff at home. I should start a photo album to document every item I have, just for the fun of it. I might shock myself.
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