The man who changed the way we buy furniture passed away this weekend. Ingvar Kamprad, who started IKEA in 1943, was 91.
Kamprad was a controversial person. Known for his frugality, he also apologized for his interest in the Nazi movement, asking for forgiveness for his ignorance.
His stores were noted for affordability and convenience. Rather than waiting 6-8 weeks for furniture to be delivered, customers simply browsed through the showroom before grabbing their purchases in the warehouse. They may also have enjoyed a dinner of Swedish meatballs or hassle free shopping while their children played in the ball pool.
It was bad enough that two employees were talking on the sales floor while people all around them went unserved, but it was their discussion was what put it over the top.
(I share the story only to illustrate the types of discussions that should not be held on the sales floor.)
The first employee was asking the second one how they had been. The first employee then went on to describe that flu that she had suffered through. She said that several times when she ran to the bathroom she could not decide whether she should bend over or sit down as “it was coming out of both ends!” I expected the other employee to be a bit put off by such a topic on the sales floor within ear shot of customers. Continue reading
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