So, IKEA's founder only gets his hair cut in third world countries...

... and here's why it's a bad idea.

So, IKEA want to open a second store somewhere in Ireland. Cards on table time - I was only in the Dublin store once. Yes, its scale blew me away and there were things which tickled my fancy but then the cynical Irish man in me kicked in.

I realised they were all flat-packs. C’mon folks, flat-packs are the first step on the road to ruin. They never look the way they do in the shop.

The rebel shopper in me was also appalled by the now infamous one-way system. God damn it, I was brought up to wander around shops. Supermarkets love me as I stop on every aisle to buy stuff I don’t need. Maybe IKEA think by forcing me the long way around, I’ll have the same reaction.

No, I won’t. I’ll just get tired and cranky. The Scandinavian shopping model is not for me.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t see it is a highly successful model. IKEA has made its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, a very wealthy man. Bloomberg rank him ninth on their Billionaire list with a cool $41 billion. Strangely, like other billionaires, our Ingvar places a premium on frugality. In his latest, and pretty rare, TV interview, he joyously proclaimed everything he was wearing came from a local thrift store. That’s his choice. However, in a 2008 interview he came out with this cracker.

Our Ingvar waits until he finds himself in a place like Vietnam or any third world country to get himself a haircut.
Will I be kind and say well, ok, that is a very practical form of foreign aid? To hell I am. Off the top of my head, here’s a list of what’s wrong with this:

  • Air miles and global warming
  • The local barbers of Sweden need business
  • Use of cheap third world labour
  • The sheer ego of the man.

So, the next time you are sucked into the long march around the shop, remember Ingvar and his beautiful locks.

Happy shopping!