This is Ullared

… and it’s f***ing gigantic.

Get ready to rumble.

This is the undisputed biggest supermarket complex in Scandinavia. Hard to really understand how incredibly big it really is. The supermarket itself is actually called “Gekås in Ullared”, an acronym for G and K (as letters pronounced in Swedish), named after the founders first and second name. And it all began very simple 1963.

One really fascinating thing with this shopaholic complex is that you find it in a very small community in the middle of nowhere – Ullared. So this community is mostly known and identified by its superstore rather than the name of the community.

The store itself covers 35.000 square meters, that’s five soccer pitches. The total area of the complex is 82.000 square meters and beyond that 3.500 parking lots. And in the surroundings, you’ll find even more stores that have established here.

This means a lot of visitors, sometimes chaotic, a hysterical amount of humans. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing there, but you always find something worth it at the end. And after all, it’s a strange kind of crazy rumble with an awkward twist of being at an amusement park.

In 2016 they had 4.8 million visitors, purchasing products for about 600 billion u$d. On high seasons the whole store is emptied and refilled up to three times. Every customer buys goods worth 1,75$ every minute.

The longest queue ever to enter the store was 1531,0582 yards (2010). The store has been growing in space since then and swallows more a bit faster now. But you can still get stuck in a quite long queue some days. Today the store can accommodate 7000 customers simultaneously and have 69 checkouts.

In July 2015 they had a record of 28,900 visitors in one day, and in November same year they had a sale record of more than 4 million $ in one day (I can’t convert so high numbers from Swedish crowns to $ more exactly).

For a professional shopaholic, this is heaven.

I usually come here about once a year, while my wife and daughter do several trips. For me, one, maybe two is enough. A day here feels like a left hook. Fall seven times, rise eight. Sooner or later the fight is over, and it always seems to feel like it’s a draw, again.

 

I had no serious attempt in mind when I made photos from this visit. Mostly just for fun and whatever may be, will be. I was just letting my camera hanging around my neck, aiming and shooting randomly not lifting it once trying to compose. Except for some few shots.

I’m not very skilled in this kind of shooting, and I have problems calculating the spot in my mind. But at the same time I actually really like the nature of those shaky, blurry and “off-road” candid snapshots. They tell a different story in a different language compared to those well composed and sharp focused photos.

This is probably the best description of my mood and experience of a day like this.

 

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