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A Letter to IKEA

July 31, 2020

Hello, IKEA!

As a fan for 20 years, it feels unreal to write to you in such a setting. When I was 8, my cousin, Camilla, visited us in Shanghai from her home in Sweden. I don’t remember much about their stay, but one name I never forget—IKEA. She introduced IKEA like it was the best store on earth. ‘EE-keh-ah’—this was how she pronounced. At that time, IKEA had just opened its first store in China for two years. And I might be the only kid in town who knew the Swedish pronunciation, which made me very proud.

Since then, IKEA has become a must for my family every Chinese New Year. I can still picture the ordning utensil holder that had sit on our dining table for years. Unlike the one in the images online holding forks and knives, ours held off-white plastic chopsticks. After graduating from high school, IKEA became my dating spot. Taking my girlfriend to the store, watching her touching the cute cups and bowls, and imagining what life was waiting for us was my classic late-teen daydream. I also remember when Camilla was working at IKEA during summer vacation. She told me her hourly wage was 200 kr, around US$30. Meanwhile, I was working for my first paid internship, making CN¥25 an hour, roughly US$3. I was extremely jealous.

For the last month, as a new immigrant to the U.S., I have been anxiously researching those IKEA cribs for my first baby in September. Who knows what story will happen in the future between IKEA and me? I love IKEA, and I believe many people in the world share my feelings too. To help more IKEA fans buy your incredible products during this hard time, I shared my tracker app to everyone.

Fortunately, my tracker app has assisted tens of thousands of people in the U.S. and Canada with their Click & Collect orders in the last two months. I also heard that even some of your local employees were personally recommending it to their anxious customers. My tracker may look popular, but I keep telling myself that my tracker is not what my users really want; your products are. My tracker can be a little help because your products are so fantastic, and people want them so much, which I believe deep in their hearts, my users recognize as well.

I am also aware that my tracker doesn’t magically increase your Click & Collect capacity; it merely pushes your stores into full speed, where every slot is taken by a possible order. I believe this is what you, as a business, want to see. Above all, I don’t intend to be a scalper, making extra money by exploiting your limited slots. Instead, I want to help the customers in most need get the slots first. Therefore, I have been trying to keep the service free of charge for the public.

Some people blamed you for poor operations during the pandemic. I do not blame you. It’s been tough for every business nowadays, and it’s even harder for a large corporation like you. I noticed that you recently upgraded your website for better user experience. The capacity of Click & Collect has increased too. I am happy to see that you are recovering and getting even better than before the pandemic.

I will continue to help your customers with their purchases. Since my tracker has a rather large user base, if there is anything more I can do to help, please feel free to contact me on Reddit. I look forward to hearing from you.


🍼Buy me a bottle of formula