Many years ago, in 2001, I purchased two beech-colored items of furniture. The items, a bookcase and a CD tower, were bathed in a lovely golden brown veneer. Recently, Wendy and I decided to embark on a trip to the new Ikea in Portland, Oregon. We decided that we would like to procure another beech CD tower. Upon our arrival at the Portland store, we grabbed a golf pencil and used a gps to locate the CD tower on the demo floor. I was gleeful when I discovered a fleet of benno CD towers in all sorts of different colors. I wrote down the stock number and we proceeded downstairs to the loading area. The box containing a beech benno was loaded onto the neatest handtruck ever and we rolled to the checkout counter.
Three days passed before I decided to build the benno. I opened the packaging and that’s when I realized that something was wrong. The beech on the new benno was much lighter than my seven year old beech colored furniture! Gasp! I showed Wendy the color disparity and we knew that we did not have a match.
A return trip to Portland this weekend confirmed our worst fears. I took the benno, in a freshly taped box, to the customer service desk while Wendy parked the car. The clerk asked me why I was returning the beautiful benno. I informed him that this beech did not match my beech and that I hoped that perhaps I had selected an incorrect model. Wendy, being a genius and generally smarter than me, had brought one of the shelves from my old beech benno. We asked if they had the old color. At this point things were not looking good as the available colors — beech, birch, black-brown, black patterned, red, silver, white, and medium brown did not match our swatch/shelf. The clerk then went to find Julie. Julie apparently was an Ikea historian who informed us that our beech had been discontinued and that yes, the new beech was indeed a lighter shade of beech veneer.
Ikea, why did you not place signs informing your veteran customers that the beech was no longer the same beech? It would have kept us from having to make a return trip to you. I’m sure we are not the only people who have been duped by the beech.