As a new shopper at IKEA, I went there to purchase a bookcase for my elderly mother. The ordeal of first finding and selecting what I wanted, then figuring out where in the store I could actually get that item took more than an hour.
The package was heavy and I (a 63-year-old woman) had to load it on the cart myself, take it through self-checkout (which entailed a seemingly endless meandering through the store), and load it into the car with no help. Once I got the Billy bookcase home, the true IKEA experience became apparent. The quality (if you can call it that) of their throw-away furniture only means that you'll be throwing it away before you can actually assemble it. I spent two days trying to make that piece of garbage stable enough to hold a box of Kleenex for my mother, and never could.
I used wood glue, and tried holding it together with a bracing strap, but nothing worked. The back piece would never stay in place and the case wobbled so precariously that I didn't dare leave it in her room. I took it piece-by-piece and threw it in the dumpster outside her assisted living facility rather than return it to the store, because IKEA will only accept a return if it's packaged exactly as it was originally -- definitely not possible after spending two days trying to assemble it, glue it, and hold it together with a packing strap.
For those of you who anxiously await the opening of an IKEA store near you, I can only ask "WHY?!?" I'll never step foot in an IKEA store again.
Review about: Ikea Facility.
Monetary Loss: $60.