From Flatpack to Facepack: Is Ikea The New Spa Resort Destination?

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What do you think of when the word ‘Ikea’ is mentioned? A quick poll of the office revealed the following:
“Meatballs!” said Richard.
“Flatpack,” said Lauren.
“Modern, affordable, sustainable,” said Liberty.

Not surprisingly, no-one said ‘Spa’, ‘Relaxation’ or ‘Massage’. Yet that is exactly what the champions of self-assembly Ikea are up to with a one-off event next week: a pop-up spa retreat.

Customers apply through a ballot and the lucky winners will spend the night in the Ikea showroom. That’s in the bedroom area, presumably, not Aisle 20, Location 10 in the warehouse. As well as dinner (meatballs?) and breakfast, the catalogue of treatments includes aromatherapy, massages, meditation, yoga and sleep consultations.

Ikea is a company that has seen sales growth during the recession, so it wouldn’t be an outlandish assumption to say that they have their finger on the consumer pulse. In this case that means tapping into the perceived rise in stress across the average UK family by recommending ways of improving your bedroom and bathroom to make them much more relaxing places to be.

So far so good.

But from a spa perspective, the whole thing is rather intriguing. We’ve worked with spas for a good few years now, and we know that the success of the experience is down to multiple factors, from the welcome to the facilities, the quality of the treatments and the environment. Would all that relaxation be undone by the prospect of stepping out into an enormous multi-storey car park and negotiating the M60? And will you be required to have your experience in a specific order? Perhaps following an arrow to your next treatment?

And of course the standard and appearance of the staff is of particular interest to us, and we’d argue, pretty key. We would love to know if the therapists will be wearing Ikea blue and yellow uniforms…

The last word, though, goes to our Richard and his thoughts on the requirements for a relaxing spa experience: “Tealights.”  They’re in the right place for those…

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