Our panel this week have reviewed the IKEA brand and their recent experiences there. Nicola, 29, from Chester said “there is something so exciting about going to IKEA”.

What our panel felt IKEA are doing right is their offer of great value for money – that even if you are looking for a cheaper alternative you are getting what you pay for, if you are willing to pay that bit extra you know you will be receiving that extra quality. There was a general feeling within the panel that IKEA is great for the first time buyer, having a wide range of everything you could need at reasonable prices.

Although what really stood out to our panel was the innovative, contemporary designs that IKEA stocked – with many new types of storage and furniture to fit into any size house. They also liked the cafe and playroom facilities, with a number of the panel considering IKEA to be a bit of a day out for the family.

53% of our panel were considered promoters of the IKEA brand; there was a running theme that although IKEA comes across as “cheap and cheerful”, it can be much more than that. Good customer service seemed to be the key to the success of the IKEA brand, although some felt that there was not enough staff available in certain show room sections where you needed them – and an improvement would be to have staff available as you walk round the store to ask questions.

Where our panel really felt IKEA could improve was the layout of the stores, with a number commenting on the “warehouse” feel to the shop, and how each trip feels like a very long way round. Emily, 27, from Leeds said “I don’t like the way you can go to the front bit where all the rooms are set up, fall in love with a table, then by the time you get to the next section it’s out of stock”.  Another panel member referred to the layout as ‘cattle-herding’. Others commented on some bad experiences with the wrong stock in the past, and that had put them off purchasing flat pack furniture.

Another area many felt needed improving is IKEA’s home delivery or click and collect, some commented that their home delivery just takes far too long, and perhaps IKEA could do with showrooms where you are able to have a look around and then order exactly what you want and pick it up.

Watch some responses from our panel.