How Does Shopping at Ikea Work?

Ikea 7

IKEA, a Swedish multinational conglomerate, has undoubtedly revolutionized the way we shop for furniture. Known for its modernist designs and eco-friendly simplicity, IKEA’s unique shopping process offers a truly distinctive experience to its customers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into how shopping at IKEA works, and provide you with some tips and tricks to make your IKEA shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient.


Shopping at IKEA involves a self-service model where customers note down the products they’re interested in from the showroom, then pick them up from the self-serve warehouse or market hall. Most IKEA products are flat-packed for easy transportation. Customers can navigate the store using the IKEA store app or a map, and IKEA offers a loyalty program for discounts and special offers. They also have a generous return and exchange policy.

The Unique IKEA Shopping Process

Unlike traditional furniture stores, IKEA operates on a self-service model. This means customers pick up the items they wish to purchase from the aisles based on the aisle number and location number written on the back of the product tag. This model helps reduce the costs of hiring salespeople and contributes to the affordability of IKEA’s products.

The IKEA shopping experience begins in the showroom, where customers can visualize how the products would look in their homes. Each product has a tag with information about its location in the self-serve warehouse or the market hall. Shoppers are encouraged to take notes of the products they’re interested in purchasing.

After the showroom, shoppers enter the market hall, where they can find smaller items like textiles, kitchenware, and home decorations. Once they’ve noted down the products they want to buy, they head to the self-serve warehouse or the market hall to pick them up. Most IKEA products are flat-packed, making them easy to transport.

Navigating the IKEA Store

IKEA stores are known for their maze-like layout, designed to guide customers through every area of the store. While this layout can seem overwhelming, there are several tools to help you navigate the vast showroom and warehouse areas at IKEA:

  1. Use the IKEA store app or grab a map at the entrance: These tools can guide you through the store and show you where everything is located.
  2. Take advantage of shortcuts: Study the store map to find shortcuts that can help you bypass walking through the entire showroom or marketplace.
  3. Shop with a plan: Create a shopping list online before heading to the store, and adhere to it strictly when you’re in the store.
  4. Ask for assistance: If you need help navigating the store, don’t hesitate to ask IKEA staff members for guidance.

Purchasing Flat-Pack Items

One of IKEA’s unique features is its flat-pack furniture, which customers assemble themselves at home. This “build-it-yourself” approach reduces shipping and storage costs, allowing IKEA to offer lower prices. However, there are a few things customers should be aware of when purchasing flat-pack items:

  1. Assembly: While the instructions are generally easy to follow, some people may find the process challenging or time-consuming. If you’re not comfortable with DIY, consider using IKEA’s assembly service.
  2. Inspect the packaging: IKEA uses minimal packaging materials, so it’s essential to inspect each box for damage before purchasing.
  3. Check the product dimensions and packaging: Ensure the item will fit in your space and vehicle for transportation.

IKEA Family Loyalty Program

IKEA offers a loyalty program called IKEA Family, which provides members with discounts on select delivery options, special workshops, and other offers. Customers can sign up for the IKEA Family loyalty program by visiting an IKEA store or registering online on IKEA’s website.

IKEA’s Return and Exchange Policy

IKEA’s return and exchange policy allows customers to return new and unopened products within 365 days for a full refund. Opened products can also be returned within 180 days for a full refund.


Shopping at IKEA provides a unique experience that combines the joy of discovery with the satisfaction of finding affordable, well-designed furniture and home accessories. By understanding how the IKEA shopping process works and making use of the tips and tools provided, you can make your IKEA shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Whether you’re a first-time IKEA shopper or a seasoned pro, we hope this in-depth guide has provided you with valuable insights into how shopping at IKEA works. Happy shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the operating hours of IKEA stores?

IKEA store hours vary by location. It’s best to check the specific hours for your local IKEA store by visiting the IKEA website or calling the store directly.

Does IKEA deliver items to your home?

Yes, IKEA offers delivery services. The cost depends on the delivery distance and the size and weight of your order. You can arrange for delivery at the store or online.

Does IKEA offer online shopping?

Yes, IKEA offers online shopping. You can browse products, create a shopping list, and place orders directly on the IKEA website.

Are there any ways to get discounts at IKEA?

Yes, IKEA offers various ways to save money. You can join the IKEA Family loyalty program to get access to special offers and discounts. Additionally, IKEA often has sales events, and you can find discounted items in the “As-Is” section in stores.

What is the “As-Is” section in IKEA?

The “As-Is” section in IKEA is a clearance area where you can find items that have been returned, used in displays, or slightly damaged. These items are sold at a significant discount.

Does IKEA have a restaurant?

Yes, most IKEA stores have a restaurant that serves Swedish food, including the famous IKEA meatballs. There’s also a Swedish Food Market where you can buy Swedish food items to take home.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *