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Ikea Stores Designed to Look Like a Maze So People Buy More Stuff

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Just how confusing is it to navigate an Ikea store? If the graphic above, from the Daily Mail, is any indication, the answer would be: mighty confusing indeed. And purposely so. An English study (carried on by a mysterious-sounding scholarly organization called the Virtual Reality Centre for the Built Environment at University College London) found that the Swedish furnishing chain's cutting-edge strategy is to "keep customers inside for as long as they can." This "psychological weapon" is masterfully designed to "part shoppers from their cash"—"while following a zig-zag trail between displays of minimalist Swedish furniture, a disorientated [sic] Ikea customer feels ­compelled to pick up a few extra impulse purchases." Meanwhile, Ikea asserts that their showrooms are innocently designed to "give our customers lots of ideas" and that "to make it easier for those customers, we have created shortcuts." The nerve—we customers won't be played for fools! We will just go about our shopping and emerge, bleary-eyed and wallet-thin, after dark.

· Why shoppers find it so hard to escape from Ikea: Flatpack furniture stores are 'designed just like a maze' [Daily Mail via UnBeige]