A problem child is born!
Now IKEA had a huge retail store and a folksy name. And crowds of people from Greater Stockholm wanted to come and visit this exciting place. The grand opening on 18 June 1965 was quite bombastic. The Swedish Army Band provided the music, there was free cheesecake from Småland, and a thousand balloons with gift vouchers were released. But when the cheesecake had run out and in the cold light of day, it turned out that the store was quite inefficient. There was a colossal difference between little Älmhult and gigantic Stockholm. The people of Stockholm flocked to the exciting new store, putting tremendous pressure on the business. Sales were too successful for the sales system to work properly. People queued for hours to get their furniture, yet customers carried on arriving in their thousands. One reason for the store’s popularity was that IKEA had set up close to many newly built apartment blocks, the so-called
areas. In a short time, about 100,000 apartments had been built in the suburbs surrounding Kungens Kurva, and many of the residents wanted to fill their new homes with modern furniture. And of course the boom in car-driving was another factor. A lot of people had their own car, and IKEA had a generous car park. And if the furniture didn’t fit in the car, IKEA sold roof racks at cost price. Even so, the store had some major problems, with queues, overcrowding and trouble getting the products to the customers.