Friday August 19th, 2011

Long live Sweden! And long live Ingvar Kamprad!

If you don’t know who this is, this is the founder of Ikea.

I had heard a lot about Ikea, from my friends who moved to France, from the TV, from a case study we took in a marketing class at university, but I have never been there as we do not have it in Lebanon. Francois and I went there today to buy the furniture for the new apartment. I was like a kid who got a pass into Santa’s workshop. I’m no decorator or architect, but I like everything related to interior design. So I’m a big fan of all the nice little gadgets you can find in these shops.

When we wanted to furnish our apartment in Lebanon, we had to take a loan from the bank because our salaries do not allow us to furnish a whole house, and we did not want to do like other newlyweds do nowadays: furnish the house slowly, one thing at a time. And even the money we took did not allow us to get everything we needed.

Whereas tonight, in just 2 hours, we got: 1 bed, 1 bedside table, 1 desk, 1 desk chair and 1 TV unit. All these and we paid only 600 Euros (around 900$)!!! One couch in Lebanon cost more than 2000$!! And it’s not all! We were able to fit everything in a minivan!! Check out even the size of each item when it’s still packed!

Everything we bought fit in the minivan

Bed (there are two other boxes smaller than this one though)

TV Unit

Desk (where I will be working and writing you my blog in the future)

Office chair (on which I will sit to write my blog)

I am still amazed. The only bad side (at least for me) is that we have to mount the whole thing ourselves. I will keep these handy tasks to Francois, I’m not good at these at all. But it’s going to be interesting to watch while he does it. Can you imagine a small box becoming a bed?! It’s like magic!

As I said we don’t have Ikea in Lebanon. We’ve been hearing for a while what it’s going to open soon, but we’ve never seen it coming. Personally I don’t think it will work if it opens; at least not for the big furniture items that need mounting. As I said before apartments and houses in Lebanon are bigger than in France or in Europe in general. So these small 2-seaters won’t do; you will need more than one to fill out a big living room. Plus Lebanese don’t really like to do the small tasks like the mounting. In the supermarket we have people to fill the bags for us and carry them to the car; we have people to fill up the car with oil for us. So you would imagine making them build their own library, or their own bed? I’m sure they wouldn’t accept to do it. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m going to bed now; we still have a full day tomorrow to start arranging things and go get additional stuff.

See you tomorrow!

2 Responses to “Friday August 19th, 2011”
  1. The friend says:

    Welcome to franchising and globalization! Ikea Lebanon will just expand its business and offer shipping and mounting services, offered by illiterate illegal immigrants with minimal training, and this would bring back prices to the range we got used to and we can’t afford.
    And, this would open up the chance for everyone to practice our best skill as Lebanese: bragging. For example:
    [Georgette from Ashrafieh] Tu as vu mon nouveau divan-lit de chez Ikea? Ça m’a coûté 2000$! Non chérie! Hinneh rakkabouwa ana j’ai rien fait!
    [Georges from Nabaa] Shtrayt hal kanabeyeh 3ind Aikya. Ana rakkabta, w shou badda? Kallafetneh 200$ w za22 w terkib! Ya balesh!

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