Do you know IKEA?
IKEA is a chain of stores that look like warehouses and sell furniture, food, toys, and various other items for the home.
IKEA stores are all over the world now, but the company is Swedish (the store’s colors are the same as the Swedish flag).
In the 1970′s, IKEA opened stores in Japan but they weren’t successful in Japan and had to withdraw from the Japanese market in the 1980′s.
But, a few years ago, they decided to try their luck in Japan again…and they seem to be doing much better this time.
There are currently five IKEA stores in Japan.
I had never been inside an IKEA store until yesterday.
I remember, though, when they were building their first store in Japan a few years ago…because it was built on the spot that the “SSAWS Ski Dome” had been for so many years.
The SSAWS Ski Dome was the world’s biggest indoor downhill-skiing arena. It was called “SSAWS” because it offered snow skiing all year round, and the name was an acronym for “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter Skiing”.
I used to see the giant, cool-looking SSAWS Ski Dome all the time and I always thought to myself that I was going to go in there and try it out one day. But that day never came because about five or six years ago, they closed down and it was torn down.
And then IKEA bought the land a few years ago and built their warehouse store. I had never heard of IKEA before then and I wondered what it was.
I was kinda disappointed when I found out. The world’s largest indoor ski-lift was there…and it was replaced with a giant furniture store! How disappointing!
But yesterday, my wife and I decided to look inside the IKEA store.
I had heard that many foreigners shop there because, mainly, they miss food from their home-country and IKEA sells imported food.
I did see many foreigners shopping there, so I guess it’s true.
But, for me personally, I’m more used to Japanese foods…so actually alot of the imported foods that I saw in IKEA looked odd to me.
We enjoyed looking around IKEA…but we didn’t buy anything.