Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe
marypcb

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But what if everyone visited Ikea at the same time?

I know it often feels like it, but weighing up whether to have 10 or 15 meatballs yesterday, I remembered a lengthy discussion in (I think) Private Eye's letter pages about how many meatballs are sold/eaten/wasted in Ikea every day that proved that most people don't know there are different size portions there. Which made me reflect that not everyone goes to Ikea, and then that that is probably a really good thing. And then wonder how long it would take to get round the store if everyone in the UK did visit Ikea; would you be born in the car park, get married in the restaurant and die at the checkout?

Over 22,500 people visited the opening of the new IKEA, Milton Keynes - one of the best attended UK openings in the IKEA history. Which added up to 1,900 hotdogs and approximately 17,710 meatballs. They expect 50,000 customers per week - approximately 2 million a year.  Call that 7,000 people a day to account for repeat visits. Assume a 12 hour day (some are 14 hours, Sundays are less, so a reasonable average) - and you can't get round in less than an hour. 583 people per hour. 14 stores in the UK is 98,000 visitors a day; 8,166 an hour.

UK population in July 2005 was 60,441,457 (75% of whom have broadband and 10% a PayPal acount); the CIA figures are a year newer than those from the UK Office for National Statistics by the way. That's 4,317,246 per store; call it half the 7,465,100 population of London. 359,770 per hour; 617 times more people than now! That's about the population of Edinburgh (453,760) every hour or four times the average daily visitors to all the Ikea stores. If it took 617 times longer than now, that's over 25 days... Definitely shuffling room only.

A few more figures (from 2004)...
"Last year, 310 million people visited Ikea worldwide. On some Sundays in Britain, according to one estimate, almost twice as many people visit a branch as attend church; it has been calculated that 10% of Europeans currently alive were conceived in one of Ikea's beds. By the end of August, the company will have opened new stores, this year alone, in Amsterdam and Lisbon, in Moscow (the city's third Ikea) and in Kazan, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Tatarstan; in Seville, in Mannheim, in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, and in Naples; in Bloomington, Minneapolis; in Philadelphia, and in upstate New York. (The second Chinese Ikea, in Shanghai, opened last year; 80,000 people visited on the first day.) This brings the proportion of the globe currently covered in Ikea outlets to 3,979,600 square metres; the branch at Kungens Kurva in Stockholm, the world's biggest, occupies 55,200 square metres, making it about as big as eight Premiership football pitches. These figures refer only to retail space, and so do not include the 10,000,000 cubic metres of warehouse that the company owns in places such as Shah Alam in Malaysia, the Maryland town of Perryville, and Peterborough."
Guardian 2004

Ikea Group sales in billions of Euros
Tags: geek, numbers, shopping
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