At Ikea, Time Really Is Money

Drive to the store and pay with the time it took you to get there

Bricks and mortar stores need to get smart if they want to attract foot traffic in the era of e-commerce. It’s a particular issue for Ikea, whose stores are generally located way out of town. But Ikea in Dubai and its agency Memac Ogilvy came up with a timely solution. Using Google Maps, they converted the time customers took to drive to the store into discounts on items purchased. The conversion was based on the country’s average family income, which worked out at 105 dirhams an hour (that’s about 29 US dollars or 26 euros). People could pay for smaller items with time alone, or buy furniture using a mixture of time and cash. All in all, it was a good argument for not taking a short cut.