The suckage of the Ottawa IKEA store has pushed my patience and my geekdom past its natural breaking point. So I have entered into a small project to detail just how terrible the Ottawa IKEA is.

The problem

It seems that the Ikea in Ottawa is always out of stock of everything I could possibly wish to purchase. I recently sent this email to Ikea:

I am very dismayed by how poor the Ottawa location is, particularly the stock situation.

In the past year I have had to return (in some cases numerous times) to attain the the following items because they were perpetually out of stock. In some cases I have not been able to purchase them at all:

Benjamin Stool
Ribba Frame (black) 70cm x 100cm
Lerberg Wall Shelf (Black)
Lagan Counter Top (96 7/8 “)
Vika Furuskog (78 3/4 “)
Vika Byske
Vika Fintorp
Vika Lindved

The following items I am interested in, but are not even carried at the Ottawa store:

Vika Leif
Alve secretary
Jonas secretary
BÖJA Pendant lamp
RUTBO Pendant lamp

I must say that my experience with the Ikea in Ottawa has been horribly sub par, and is no where near the service that is provided at other locations I have visited.

The response I received was this:

Hello Tyler,

Thank you for contacting IKEA Canada via email. In regards to your inquiry, please note that our products selection may vary by store. Furthermore, please know that IKEA Ottawa is the smallest of the eleven IKEA stores in Canada. Given the store’s restricted storage space, the managers have to be selective about the items the store carries. The store reviews its product selection regularly based on popularity and customer demand.

Please note that your comments will be shared with the appropriate department for review.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for choosing IKEA for your home furnishing needs.

Best Regards,
IKEA Canada Customer Service

Basically they admit that Ottawa sucks, but how badly does it really suck? I intend to find out.

The Experiment

I have picked one product that I would like to consider purchasing and I am going to track its availability according to the Ikea website in each of the Canadian stores. I have picked the Vika Fintorp desk leg. It is a $10 item, and it is carried at the Ottawa store, it is just out of stock. Ikea will tell you on the website if a product is not available at a given store. (See: Alve Secretary)

I do not expect to remember to check the stock levels of every store everyday, so I am using a new feature of Google Reader where it will track a page without a feed for you. So I have added a feed for all Canadian stores stock page for the desk leg. I will track it it here: Vika Fintorp Leg Availability.  Notice that the page does have a feed if you want to track it. I will also post updates on my Twitter.

Day 1: Results

One of the reasons that I picked this item is because it is available at all Canadian stores and has been out of stock in Ottawa for a while. Knowing my luck it will quickly become available in Ottawa, but I will track it for a while and see.

Boucherville: 52
Burlington: 27
Calgary: 15
Coquitlam: 14
Edmonton: 40
Etobicoke: 12
Montreal: 25
North York: 33
Ottawa: 0
Richmond: 17
Vaughan: 10