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To shop or not to shop ... two hours from your home.
To shop or not to shop ... two hours from your home.

Is it time for a closer IKEA?

This is a question I've pondered for years. Not too seriously, mind you; only on the rare occasion that I need to go there. While I am not an overly avid IKEA shopper, there are certain needed household items that make the trek down to Schaumburg, Ill., a necessary and worthwhile one.

At least, I thought so.

My husband works from home and our home office was long overdue for an overhaul. This weekend, in a borrowed pick up truck, we decided to make his desire for an acceptable workspace a reality and headed south to the closer of the two Illinois Swedish superstores.

But as my husband and I hopped into a borrowed pickup truck this weekend to make the journey, I wondered if we were wasting our time. The drive -- with the ongoing construction and lane closures -- was well over two hours. Were we really saving any money once we filled up the portion of the gas tank we'd used? Probably not.

Still, we love the new office furniture we bought -- and we love all the little extras we came home with, but hadn't intended on buying. It's like the Target experience, but worse. On second thought, maybe I should keep a safe two-hour distance from this place ...

What's the consensus here? Do you make the trip to IKEA when you need a slew of affordable yet attractive home goods? Or does a five-to-six hour shopping experience negate any potential savings? If there were an IKEA just outside the Milwaukee area (even a one-hour drive west or north would be better than the dreaded toll road), would you shop there?

Talkbacks

CoolerKing | Oct. 26, 2009 at 7:08 a.m. (report)

The Ikea in Schaumburg is OK. However, from my last experience, the best way to shop there is during a weekday unless you want to make a really long hike back to your car. Keep in mind this is a HUGE parking lot, I'm not being lazy. But it makes a difference when you're hauling furniture back to your vehicle. Weeknights and weekends were not the best. I could see an Ikea somewhere between Madison and Milwaukee.

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ChateauDweller | Oct. 21, 2009 at 4:35 p.m. (report)

Isn't IKEA a chain? Where are all of the corporate-chain haters!?

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DowntownRed | Oct. 20, 2009 at 11:41 a.m. (report)

I don't think Ikea would build a store in Wisconsin. Yes, the two IL stores are fairly close but there is a lot of population in those areas. The Schaumberg store draws from the northern areas including Milwaukee and Madison and the Bolingbrook store draws from the southern area and northern Indiana.

While Milwaukee is big enough, Ikea usually puts its stores where it can draw from two fairly large cities. I don't think Madison would qualify as big enough. Their first Ohio store that opened this year is near Cincinnati but draws from Columbus and Indy in addition to smaller cities like Louisville, Lexington and Dayton. A WI store could be similar to the Pittsburgh Ikea but even that draws from Cleveland. I don't think WI will ever get an Ikea.

And that's fine. The stuff has gotten better over the years but I still see it as "starter" furniture. Plus, CB2 has cooler stuff. Rather see them come here.

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Jimmy_Jones | Oct. 20, 2009 at 9:43 a.m. (report)

A Tosa location would be best, it would still pull in people from Madison but also people from Green Bay / Sheboygan / Appleton / Oshkosh / Fondulac ... I couldn't see them driving down to Milwaukee and then out to Oconomowoc.

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curlyboy1978 | Oct. 20, 2009 at 9:36 a.m. (report)

Correct me if I am wrong, but a few years ago wasn't it rumored to be looking for spots in the metro area? I am sure real estate insiders had mentioned IKEA looking at Oak Creek and Oconomowoc. But then the economy blew up and nothing since...

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