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IKEA stores are carefully designed to deliver a great shopping experience and phenomenal sales per square foot. The two go well together.

Part of the design includes the smell of IKEA’s signature Swedish cinnamon buns. The warm smell is the first thing to greet you inside the door as you arrive. But it’s also the last thing you experience as you finish checking out.

Warm cinnamon buns aren’t for sale just after the cash registers because IKEA needs the extra buck. In fact, IKEA’s billion-dollar food business is a money-losing proposition. The purpose of the IKEA restaurant and food court is to advance the brand and to make sure customers aren’t leaving early for a bite to eat. The warm cinnamon buns are for sale right after the check-out because that’s the most painful part of the whole process.

Why let that be the customer’s last experience inside the store?