I was at the IKEA store in Schaumburg, IL this past Saturday (05/29/2010) purchasing roughly $300 worth of furniture to start outfitting a new home. The experience went along fine until I had paid for the merchandise and was ready to leave the store. I was asked by two different individuals to show my receipt. One was a store employee who, much to his credit, apologized profusely and looked genuinely remorseful after the look I gave him. The second was a rent-a-cop who was aggressive, confrontational, rude, and arrogant who insisted I comply with the receipt check in a very particular way ("I need to HOLD IT in MY HAND and LOOK AT THE MERCHANDISE.") I have written to IKEA customer relations and they have assured me that my complaint will be passed on to the store in question, but it's been 3 days and I've heard no response.
Until the problem of receipt checking (and yes, it is exactly that - a PROBLEM) is corrected, by means of reassigning or firing all of their receipt-checking personnel and never reinstating the practice, I will be obtaining my furniture from an alternate source.
Does anyone know who IKEA's biggest, most threatening, most feared competitor is? I'd love to give them 3x the business I would've given to IKEA, as long as they don't check receipts on the way out the door.
To anyone looking for furniture in the Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates area, Google Maps shows that Pier 1, ZGallerie, The Room Place, and Crate & Barrel are all within a mile of IKEA. I don't know offhand which of these stores are free from the unforgivable and unjustifiable plague of receipt-checking, but hopefully they respect their customers more than IKEA does.
And no, I will not "just get over it and show my receipt, it takes 5 seconds, what am I whining about." Nor should anyone. I'm not a thief, I'm not a shoplifter, I'm not a criminal, and I utterly refuse the indignity of being treated as such. Someone has to stand up and say "no," might as well be me.