For most people, traipsing around an Ikea store is exhausting. Now the world’s largest furniture retailer is officially trying to put us to sleep with the launch of two podcasts of Swedish people listing the names of Ikea products.
The two 35-minute recordings, which aim to inspire Australians to sleep better, are identical except one is narrated by Sara Eriksson and the other by Kent Eriksson, both employees of Ikea in Australia; Sara for 13 years and her husband for 28 years (their two daughters also work for Ikea, and their son has been an employee in the past).
They begin by explaining the stories behind Ikea product names. For example, Ikea’s bathroom products are named after Swedish lakes and bodies of water. And the names of its beds and wardrobes are Norwegian places. Bedroom textiles are flowers and plants.
Next, Kent and Sara work through the 2019 Australian Ikea catalogue, starting with the bedroom section (“Nyboda side table”) and ending at the bathroom (“Voxsjön bath mat”). In-between they traverse curtains, toothbrush holders and coat hangers.
The surprisingly soothing listening experience is designed to make the most of the extra hour of sleep many Australians will get as we wind back the clocks for the end of daylight savings this weekend (everywhere except for Queensland and WA).
Ikea research has found that 56 per cent of Australians find it hard to fall asleep, with one in three of us under the age of 44 waking up five or more times during the night. It also discovered that while 62 per cent of Aussies use their bedroom only for sleep, 15 per cent of South Australians eat their dinner in their bedroom.
Kent and Sara were chosen for their unrivalled knowledge of Ikea product names.
“As you can hear in the Sleep podcast, both Sara and I are Swedish and have grown up speaking the names of the Ikea furniture in our day-to-day conversation,” Kent said in a statement. “We often get asked by our co-workers the correct pronunciation of Ikea products.”
This launch comes just after Ikea announced it’s rolling out a small-format store in Sydney in May. If the four-month trial is a success it could pave the way for up to eight more similar stores around Sydney, and expansion to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.