A typical IKEA is about 350,000 square feet (32,500 square meters); however, the company's oldest and largest store in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden, measures nearly 594,000 square feet (55,000 square meters), equivalent to more than 10 (U.S.) football fields [source: Nakano]. Fortunately for the directionally challenged among us, there's an arrow-lined path that winds through IKEA's Showroom and Marketplace, offering a sense of order and orientation in the mammoth space.
When visitors follow the path, they explore the whole store and come into proximity with just about everything IKEA has for sale, from desks and beds to cutlery and doormats. The setup might be an evil plot to get you to buy more home goods, but it could at least serve to minimize stress.
Officially, visitors aren't obligated to follow the arrows or even stick to the path — hidden shortcuts throughout the store allow savvy visitors to bypass certain segments. But on those crowded afternoons around moving day, just go with the arrows instead of against them. Along the way, be aware of the people around you: Don't run, try not to swing your yellow shopping bag in excitement, avoid cartwheels and don't leave your cart in the path. And instead of stopping to gawk in wonderment at all the affordable furniture from a distance, step off the path and let your fellow shoppers make their way around you.