I’ve witnessed such an outpouring of emotion once before, and that was when Technics officially shut up shop. But today, the word is that IKEA is discontinuing their iconic EXPEDIT shelving. Wait… people are upset about cheap lumps of flatpack Swedish furniture being canned? Well apparently so, because as all vinyl DJs will tell you, they’re the most excellent vinyl storage, and a core element of many DJ and vinyl collector setups.
This isn’t really new news, as this has been floating around the corners of social media for weeks now. Indeed this whole issue surfaced on this Facebook thread back in January. But it seems that it’s all going off today for some reason. It comes at an odd time considering that just last year IKEA did a whole promotion of their EXPEDIT using DJ Harry Love.
But here’s the thing — some people are talking like we’ll never be able to stack records ever again, and our collections are destined to a future of being kicked around the floor. But it seems that waiting in the wings is a replacement called KALLAX. Very little is known about this range right now, but IKEA Germany confirmed in the above Facebook thread that the internal dimensions are the same but the overall size is a little smaller. It’ll come in 2×2 and 4×2 configurations (although the illustration does show a 4×4), and in birch effect, black, brown, and white. They also confirmed that the KALLAX shelves have the same 13Kg load as the EXPEDIT.
This being the case, I’m struggling to understand why people are getting all het up about this. One thing is getting replaced with another, and it’s probably better too. So does it really matter? I suppose for those who are adding to existing EXPEDITs, then yes. But given the price of a 5×5 is only £140, it strikes me that if you’ve got the cash to fill such things, then you can probably afford to replace existing shelves if they positively have to match.
There are of course alternatives. In the UK we have a DIY chain called B&Q, and I’ve been using their Cube range for years. The ones I have are solid wood, and give me a great deal more security than some of the collapsed stacks that I’ve seen pictures of online. It’s also worth pointing out that the load bearing of the shelves with the 2×4 EXPEDITs is all wrong when turned on their sides to provide a base for DJ setups anyway.
So while many of you may be sad at the passing of Expedit, I’ve found a handful of alternative options, both full shelves or modular:
B&Q Mixxit Cubes: Mentioned previously, but come in a variety of modular options up to 3×3 units in White and Beech.
iCubes: An incredibly modular and flexible system that is available in a very wide range of colours and finishes. I have my eye on these for the Worxlab because I simply cannot find the bookcase I want.
There are of course more in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. But I post these to illustrate that the record storage world is somewhat wider than IKEA’s vision.
While I’ve trawled the net for as much info as I can, it’s unclear if this is just Germany, or possibly Germany first with a global rollout to follow. I checked my local IKEA in Leeds and found the warehouse to be positively overflowing right now. And multiple clicks on the US IKEA site found that EXPEDIT was “most likely in stock”, which was a stark and unhelpful contrast from telling me exactly how many were in my local IKEA.
But whatever the status of EXPEDITs, the moral of this story is that it’s just a cheap shelf made of pressed waste wood products, and alternatives are available, and indeed near identical ones from IKEA themselves. You all just need to calm down, take a deep breath, and realise that your precious record collect can sit on all manner of shelves. There is no law that says it has to be IKEA ones.