The £1.26 kitchen clock

So, it’s the first day of my obscenely long holiday and what do we do?

Why, we go to Ibiza Ikea…

We were after a kitchen clock as the old one had fallen off the wall of its own volition due to some sort of crazed act of chronological kamikaze.

Eventually, we decided on this:

It was harmless, would go in our all white and pine kitchen and, furhermore, was only £1.26.

I’ll repeat that…


We were staggered.

Thinking about it, this Chinese made clock must have cost Ikea only a few pence after they’d bought several hundred thousand of them.

But it goes a bit deeper than that. There’s the clock case, quartz mechanism, the plastic case with battery clips for the mechanism, the hands and the paper face.

Each component had to be made at a separate factory and then the whole thing assembled after having passed through the hands of several Chinese workers.

Then there’s the transport involved – between factories, to the docks, across the sea and then from the UK port to the various Ikea shops here.

When it got to the shops it had to be itemised, stored in the warehouse, put on the shelves and then – after we’d bought it – paid for at the checkout.

To us – £1.26.

But what did each person get from that £1.26 at each stage of its journey from the raw materials to being hung on our kitchen wall?

What piddling amount did the guy who made the hands earn from his 10 hour shift helping to make clocks for Ikea?

So, I’ve learned two things today:

1) Ikea is incredibly cheap

2) The Chinese are going to pwn us all given time – if they don’t already.

Gentlemen – I think our economy is well and truly fucked…


9 Responses

  1. I’m not sure if it’s such a bargain Steve – I’ve been looking at the clock above and the time hasn’t changed in the last five minutes.

    But the travel expense involved in you returning it would probably negate any refund anyway!

  2. I did LOL.

    Aren’t their dodgy IKEA hotdogs more expensive than that?

    I don’t even want to know what they put into those hotdogs. Or what the Chinese do with them before selling them to IKEA


  3. Well, we spent £14 there – that clock, a fleece to be used as a cat blanket, a pack of 17 storage boxes and two stripey pots we’re going to use to keep cutlery in.

    We thought how frugal we were – and then we blew a tenner on some coffee and biscuits at the Ikea food section.

    So, I reckon you’re right…they make their bucks with the hotdogs and especially those dodgy meatballs.

  4. Oh, and two clip frames for that £14 spend too.

  5. If you don’t come away with a big bag of crap from Ikea and some significant change from a 20 spot then you’re shopping all wrong, mate.

  6. There are two distinct product areas within Ikea… the cheap-as-chips everyday items and the proper design stuff (that you do actually see in nice middle-class houses in Sweden) which costs proper prices. I’d always assumed that they sell the cheap stuff as loss-leaders, simply to get people to look at the real stuff.

    Oh, and the food section… having kitted out most of our house with Ikea stuff over the years (and suffered the hell of ambling through that place with most of the population of Croydon) the only way I can be persuaded to go back is with the promise of stocking up on pickled herring, dill crisps, lingonberry jam and marabou chocolate 🙂

  7. IKEA rake in a decent portion of my yearly salary, around twice a year.

    Thanks to t’missus!

  8. Pikea… The horror…


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