“Have fun blogging for the man, you whore!” sang my husband as he left for work this morning.
“Damn right,” I rejoined, curling up with my laptop, my tasteful birch IKEA USB stick packed with photos, and a cup of coffee.
Winnipeg’s Really Big Deal, the arrival of IKEA, is finally a reality tomorrow night. In advance, the clever PR folks at IKEA had the media (both old and new) at a private pre-shop replete with champagne, Mise chefs serving meatballs, and a handsome discount for excited-but-trying-to-pretend-they’re-not shoppers.
I’m very impressed with the level of attention to the blogging community IKEA’s PR is paying. And I do mean paying. The swag bag, handed out to each exhausted shopper as they departed, was packed with an appealing palette of treasure (including delicious chocolates, thoughtful napkins to deal with the aftermath, tealights & pretty holders, and full foamy-coffee paraphernalia. And like a whole lamp and a lightbulb).
Does the actual media get a payday like this all the time? Refocusing career on retail journalism!
But smooth marketing-to-the-marketers aside (except for that “vending machine in City Place” thing today. Can you ever tell a Toronto agency is placing these things.), the store is going to be a real resource for designers. Like my architect, Clayton of Design-Built, who came with me. We purchased 5 PAX units for our upcoming Wolseley renovation, and finally got to interview gleaming kitchen appliances in person.
The basic pieces of a home—stylish, modern kitchens and bathrooms, lighting, book cases like the gorgeous gloss-white EXPEDIT, shelving, and flooring are finally available at a great price point, in person, for Winnipeggers designing their homes. This is sooo huge.
Ordering these kind of things online can be a nightmare—EXPEDITs are double their cost to ship here, and you want to test the quality of large-ticket items like kitchen cabinets in person. Having the help of installers, planners & delivery all in our own city is going to make renovating our home so much sweeter and easier. It couldn’t be better timed.
And for the guy who unfollowed me on Twitter because I’ve become a corporate shill, let me tell you how much having access to good design in Winnipeg means to me.
In our first appartment, Kevin & I paid a fortune to ship BRODER and EXPEDIT shelves to start our lives together (in an organized fashion). When we got married, we marked the move to our new house (our first house!) with a road trip to Minneapolis for IKEA. When we got pregnant with our first daughter, we did it again—sooo uncomfy, that drive while enormously pregnant. But we needed a SNIGLAR crib. When our twins threatened to arrive, I was too huge to make it to the States, so our cousins in Calgary went to IKEA for us & got what we needed to welcome the babies.
IKEA has been a huge part of every big-deal life moment in our family, at an inconvenient & expensive distance. Finally, it’s here. I’m no shill. I freakin’ love this place
Oh, and on the topic of regional swagger:
“I literally got tears in my eyes when I saw the big sign glowing warmly over Sterling Lyon Parkway.
I’m sure you know this but it means a lot to a certain swath of Winnipeggers that IKEA is here. Deep down we know it’s all about a land deal or something, but to us it means IKEA believes in us, in our love of design.
You’re probably rolling your eyes so hard right now. But it’s the complement to the swagger the city felt when we got the Winnipeg Jets back. It’s good for our self esteem “