An Ellesmere Port man has been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after his recent trip to IKEA, in Warrington.

The thirty-two-year-old man, from Stanny Lane, visited IKEA this past weekend believing he would be in the store for just ‘a few minutes’ to pick up a display cabinet he had seen on the website. The man told his wife he would be back in an hour, but wasn’t seen again for several hours.

John Barlow, a supply teacher at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, first realised he may have bitten off more than he could chew when he arrived at the IKEA store and noticed the car park was full – even though it seemed to hold several thousand cars.


I’d never seen so many cars. So many cars. No spaces. It was hell.

John Barlow, Ellesmere Port

John drove around for more than thirty minutes, without finding a single space. Cars littered the car park as though a zombie apocalypse had broken out mid-shop. After abandoning his car on the side of a space, blocking in several other vehicles, John headed into IKEA with no comprehension of what he was in for.

I thought I was entering a furniture store, not the fifth level of hell.

Expecting to find ‘furniture’ John was instead greeted with several thousand people walking around a warehouse, all following arrows on the floor. The arrows led John, and other bemused shoppers, through room after room of furniture laid out like a film set. John was particularly confused by the fact nothing appeared available to buy, but instead featured product codes that somehow related to somewhere else within the store.

It was like a puzzle. A puzzle with no end.

John had seen a light on IKEA’s website, and believed he would just be able to pick one up as he walked around the store. This was clearly not the case.

I asked a lady where I could find a particular light. She looked at me coldly and said ‘in lighting’. Where the fuck is lighting???

John’s confusing reached boiling point when he discovered than a small, unmarked door behind the staircase led to another warehouse that resembled the storage scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The door wasn’t even marked? How the fuck was I supposed to find this?

After escaping IKEA, John has vowed never to return mumbling something about strange Swedish words and arrows leading nowhere. John’s doctor has confirmed he has PTSD, and has been signed off work for the next four years.


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