It was a relatively short trip to IKEA in Thessalon?ki yesterday. Yes, Thessalon?ki! This Greek town is the closest IKEA shop to Bulgaria that you can find. And why bother to travel 300 km one way to shop some furniture? Well, because of a couple of things.
First of all, the design of the furniture that is on sale in IKEA is fabulous. Everything is beautiful and is though with the easy-of-use in mind. The bookshelves and desk that I bought are very comfortable. Also, which for me is quite a something is that every single piece of furniture comes with a detailed explanation on how to assemble it, plus it takes very little time to do that! Given the fact that my desk has some mechanism for the stand where you place the keyboard, it took me less than 10 minutes to assemble it all in one piece.
Second, the prices.. oh the prices! It is something that everyone likes. For instance I bought a couple of paper lamps for my kitchen and my bedroom for just a little less than 7 euro. Here in Bulgaria, for the very same lamps I would have spent at least 60 leva (about 30 euros). I think this is pretty much obvious.
Third, the way everything is showcased and offered to the customer. For the past couple of months I went around almost every bigger Bulgarian store (Como, Mr. Bricolage, Praktiker, Domko, etc.) that sales some of the furniture I was looking for. Well, this little marketing research of mine proved that here in Bulgaria all these stores think that either their customers have awfully bad taster and have no idea of design and how to decorate their homes, or they simply are unable to offer something of quality. Whichever of the two it is, this speaks for bad for the store and consumer culture in our country.
I can list a couple of other reasons, but I think these three are enough. Anyhow, I head some rumors that IKEA is coming to Bulgaria in the near future too. This time these rumors will prove to be true I think (I heard that IKEA has actually bought a land plot near Sofia). Until then, if you happen to furnish your house with new furniture, have that option in mind.