Oh, IKEA. We applaud your green initiatives: taking the formaldehyde out of your products; charging a nickel for a plastic bag; making a public commitment to phase out PVC in both your products and your packaging... and we're sure we're forgetting a few other green deeds.
But when we stumbled upon, happenstance, a promotion for your Tempe, Arizona, store, we sighed. This sigh was not a sigh of contentment at reasonably priced, well designed, mass market housewares. Rather, it was a sigh of disappointment at this promotion:
HELP REDUCE C02 EMISSIONS BY USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! Bring in your monthly bus pass to the AS-IS section of the store any day of the week, and receive an additional 10% OFF discount on AS-IS purchases only - on products $20 or more. Not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offers. See store for more details.
If you've been to IKEA, the above conjures up a comical image of some poor bus pass holder lugging a lightly used, heavily discounted Swedish bookshelf up the front steps of a bus. If you haven't been to IKEA, let us explain:
• the bulk of IKEA products are made of particleboard and are therefore very heavy;
• most IKEA products are sold "knocked down," which is a fancy way of saying you have to put it together yourself;
• however, AS-IS is the section of the store where IKEA offloads floor models and returns: ergo, things that have already been assembled. Heavy things that have already been assembled. Heavy, large things that have already been assembled and that are unlikely to fit through, much less be allowed on, a public bus.
We applaud IKEA for giving props to people who use public transportation, but perhaps a free cup of coffee (or, in Arizona, an ice-cold lemonade) might be a better promotion that recognizes that the vast majority of IKEA's merchandise leaves the store strapped to the roof of a car or stashed in the back of an SUV.
image via about.com