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Cecile Corral

Mania in Miami for IKEA

October 25, 2007

Surprise, surprise. Upon IKEA opening its first doors in the Sunshine State – last week in Broward County — South Floridians went bonkers, arriving in droves of up to 25,000 shoppers.

Some avid fans — including a lady who had never set foot into an IKEA store - waited as many as two days outside this new unit in anticipation.

I wasn’t one of them.

I had heard of IKEA mania, not to be confused with Ikea Madness, which is how the Swedish retailer refers to its "madmen and women" designers. 

The mania can and has resulted in dangerous grand opening events. In Saudia Arbia, some would-be shoppers were trampled to death trying to get through the doors. In England, people were injured.
Knowing this, I figured I could wait. What’s the big deal.

Then this past Sunday, I found a thick, 370-page (including the index but not including special offer ads) IKEA 2008 catalog as an insert in my newspaper.

OK, so I admit it — I’m planning my trip out there soon. It’s a well-worth one-hour drive there from my house, I told myself leafing through the catalog for the fifth time. My cluttered home doesn’t really have room for any new furniture. But that Svinga for my kids’ rooms at $59 can’t be ignored!

But I must remind myself — that Svinga is only Swedish in name and design.

As I read in an article by Miami Herald Columnist Fred Grimm the day after IKEA opened here: 
"So this is what it means to be a real American. To go crazy in a Swedish home-goods store stocked with merchandise from China."

Grimm’s IKEA perspective – and experience on opening day — are a far cry from "mania," but his points are interesting.