IKEA Dubai is the first to let you pay with your time

ikea dubai buy with your time

You know the famous adage, “Time is money.” Now, at IKEA Dubai, it translates to real currency.

IKEA Dubai

Yes, you read that right. Starting this month, IKEA Dubai is running a campaign that allows customers to spend their time on the road to IKEA as currency.

All the customer needs to do is show IKEA checkout staff their Google Maps timeline. The app details how much time they’ve spent travelling to IKEA stores which can then be redeemed for products.

Watch the video below to see it in action.

For the moment, this innovative promotion is restricted to IKEA Dubai. And, it seems to be part of efforts to drum up visits to its new megastore at Jebel Ali. The port town is located 35 kilometres (22 miles) southwest of Dubai.

Google approximates a driving time of 31 minutes from Dubai to Jebel Ali. As a result, customers may get almost 3 KNOPPANG frames from this single trip. Sweet?

IKEA Dubai campaign "Buy with your time"
IKEA Dubai runs first-of-its-kind campaign

The savvy marketer named the campaign “Buy With Your Time”. And it is most likely born from customers’ gripe concerning travel distances. Most IKEA stores are located on the outskirts of major cities and for many, a trip to IKEA equals a whole day gone.

For this promotion, IKEA has added “time currency” prices for every item in its Dubai stores alongside the usual prices. The “time currency” is calculated based on the average Dubai salary.

At a glance, customers can see how much time currency or regular dirhams they’ll need to buy the item.

IKEA Dubai campaign "Buy with your time"

“Before the birth of this campaign, we realised two things: time is precious today, and many loyal IKEA customers spend a significant chunk of it visiting our locations, which are sometimes away from the city centre,” said an IKEA spokesperson to Forbes. “We think it’s only right to reward our customers’ efforts by repaying them for the time spent reaching us. It’s our way of helping the Dubai community make the most of every minute.”

While I laud IKEA Dubai’s creative effort in launching an unheard-of promotion, the campaign makes me feel sad. Seriously, to have a price tag on our time takes the fun away from shopping, no? 9 hours 25 mins for a HATTEFJÄLL chair? My life should be better spent!

Moreover, it brings to mind a haunting 2011 Justin Timberlake movie. (Anyone seen that?) In the movie, In Time, the ultimate currency is time. Perhaps it always has been — we exchange our time for a wage. Now, seeing it on a price tag gives me the goosebumps.

However, you may have different take on it. What are you views? Would you want your local IKEA to run this campaign?

Source: Forbes