Why Ikea stores have a maze design
It seems that the designers of Ikea's stores are addicted to mazes. Perhaps the team responsible for the spiralling maze design found in these places love puzzles and mazes so much that they couldn’t get them out of their minds when they designed their stores. It’s not just us who find these places bewildering is it? There’s a method to the madness so we now understand exactly what these guys are playing at.
Ikea want you to finish their work for them so they give you a load of parts and some poor instructions and leave you to assemble whatever furniture you’ve bought from them. We’re all used to the self-service nature of their products, and we find that in their food hall too where you get your own drinks and find your own table, canteen style. However Ikea don’t want you to find your own way around their store. No, that would limit some of their subtle sales techniques from working.
We’ve shown you before how retailers work to get your attention and how they position products to make the maximum sales (for example, supermarkets put stuff that attracts children’s attention on shelves they can see) and there’s nothing different with Ikea’s approach, although they’re a little more forceful than other retailers.
The maze design makes sure you purchase something. The design is supposed to disorientate the buyer so that he or she picks up a few more purchases. If you make sure that the shopper can’t determine the logic of the layout, he will be more inclined to impulse buy. The reasoning is simple. A shopper who doesn’t understand the layout of the shop will pick up something that attracts his interest without thinking about comparing it to other similar items. The impulse buy also occurs because the shopper thinks that if he doesn’t pick up the item when seen, he might not be able to find it again. The shop’s layout also creates buyers who purchase partly because they are held within the store for a great deal of time.