IKEA knows a thing or two about marketing. They know if they expose customers to as many of their products as possible, chances are they’ll score impulse buys galore.
They do this by cleverly leading you through their eye-catching stores, section after section jam-packed with perfectly assembled products, so you end up like a kid in a candy shop – wanting everything you see. That kitchen looks amazing. Wow, I must have that sofa – and the side tables. And that bed would be perfect in the guest room. So on you go blithely buying, as easily as sipping a couple of glasses of a good single malt.
Soon, you’re stacking flat packs in your SUV until you can’t see the road from your rear vision mirror. But that only adds to the delicious anticipation of making your house an IKEA home.
But the reality of assembling flat packs hits like the worst hangover you’ve ever had. There are countless pieces of timber, screws, casters, an instruction sheet that seems to be written in the wrong order – and an innocuous little allen key that’s meant to do everything except bring you a beer chaser.
When you’ve lost the allen key 7 times and your language has turned a permanent shade of blue, it’s time to get on to High Pages and hire an IKEA assembly expert.
Did 17-year old Swede Ingvar Kamprad have a devilish streak in him when he founded IKEA in 1943 in his family’s garage? Did he see the allen key as having a power similar to the gold ring in Lord of the Rings. “One allen key to rule them all, one key to hide from them, one key to drive them to drink, and in the night enrage them.”