IKEA isn’t just the largest furniture store in the world. It’s also the amusement park of shopping malls – or a claustrophobic shoppers’ hell, depending on both your mood and how mobbed the winding labyrinth of Swedish goods happens to be on any given day.
After hours IKEA actually does become an amusement park, with employees moving the walls (yes, the walls move) to play hide-and-seek and compete in pallet jack races. To add to the merriment, at the end of the year employees receive awesome holiday gifts including electronics and even plane tickets.
#1. The IKEA pathway has a code name
It’s no secret IKEA’s maze-like showrooms are designed to take shoppers through every department, from the kitchen to the textiles, making sure they lay eyes on as many goods as possible. “One could describe it as if IKEA grabs you by the hand and consciously guides you through the store in order to make you buy as much as possible,” Johan Stenebo, an IKEA veteran, wrote in his book, The Truth About Ikea.
The winding walkway is known lovingly among employees as the “Long Natural Path” or the “Long Natural Way.” According to a 2011 New Yorker article by Lauren Collins, the pathway is supposed to curve every 50 feet to prevent shoppers from getting bored.