A few years ago, James Lileks summed up the archetypal Ikea shopping experience thusly:
The final step of the Great Reorganizing involved shelves, but since they’re in the closet I had no desire to spend a lot of monie on them. So I got in my car and drove to IKEA, where all the furniture has vaguely familiar names like Char, or Desq, or Bedd. When I reached the parking lot my jaww fell: what the fuug? It’s a Wednesday night and there are more people heading into this place than you’d see streaming into a Beatles reunion tour. The place is paqued. You enter from the parking level, take an escalator up to the next, then take another tall esky to the main floor. It’s all arranged so you follow a path through the endless maze, and at the end the Minotaur eats your head.
Well, if you’re going to Start From Zero, you might as well end there as well.
Mental Floss explores the checkered past of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad:
While we’ve written about IKEA cloaking itself as a charitable institution, that isn’t the blue and yellow über-store’s only dirty secret. While Kamprad today is known as a frugal billionaire who drives a ‘93 Volvo, eats at middle-class restaurants, and outfits his home entirely in affordable IKEA products, his legacy is tainted by his past involvement with pro-Nazi organizations. Between 1942 and 1945, Kamprad joined, fund-raised, and recruited members for a fascist, Nazi-sympathizing group in Sweden.