Merredith and I took a trip to Atlanta this weekend to check out the IKEA store and visit with Jeff. IKEA is one of those companies that pays attention to detail in everything they do. Walking through that store was an amazing experience. From the food(Swedish Meatballs) to the hand dryers in the restroom, they think of everything. The parking lot contained a Family Parking area with extra large spaces that allow families and their accessories(strollers) to get out of the car without worrying about bumping into the car parked next to them.
Everything in the store is self-serve. You walk through the showroom first, paying attention to the tags on each piece of furniture which tell where each item is located in the warehouse. Customers pull the items from the warehouse themselves, pay, and then load it all up into the car. There is almost no staff visible as you walk through the store, yet everything is set up so well, there's really no need for any assistance.
The level of detail that IKEA pays to their stores is equal with the detail that companies like Volkswagen and Apple pay to their products. I just wish IKEA could portray this through their website! You just can't get any perspective from their website.
As a result of spending just over a day in Atlanta, I really started to realize how small Nashville is and how much they really lack in city planning. Atlanta has amazing amounts of new development happening, especially in the area located near IKEA. Just moving from one end of that city to another, I had forgotten how nice it is to have sidewalks, curbs, landscaping... and to have this consistent through out the city. It really puts Nashville to shame.
But all in all it was a good weekend. Had lots of fun with Merredith and got to hang with Jeff a bit as well.