Ikea Value Chain
In a world where Wal-Mart is king and growing more each and every day, why would anyone want to shop an IKEA store? That was my question too, so I decided to learn more about this different type of department store. It seems that IKEA is a private-owned company founded in Sweden in 1943 by a man named Ingvar Kamprad, who like Sam Walton started the store in his hometown. Like Mr. Walton he wanted to offer quality products at a reasonable price, and though IKEA has not had the huge growth like Wal-Mart stores, it has over 260 stores in over 35 countries. IKEA like Wal-Mart has also moved into the Internet with its website offering over 12,000 items online and receiving millions of visitors looking for products when a store may not be available in the customers area.
Ikea Value Chain
The store which used be considered a Niche type store, has blossomed into a mainstream shopping experience. It is true that IKEA was always known for its utilitarian furniture which needs to be assembled by the buyer. This was done to allow the company to offer its products at a substantial savings. Some people would make fun of the idea of having to aseemble all of their furniture, but many people also proudly display their IKEA furniture. In Europe it has became very successful offering its practically priced furniture, and moved into other areas of the home product lines as well.
My first experience in a IKEA store was in a shopping mall in Dubai, UAE. I thought the store to be very colorful and interesting. I thought that prices were high, but the quality and look was outstanding, and if I wanted some truly unique items for my home, I think would consider IKEA as the first place to shop. It leads you around through the store, in its one-way display technique. It was however nothing like a Wal-Mart in that the store is open and free of shopping isles, so that is one major difference of the two chain stores. IKEA has also one thing in common with Wal-Mart though; the majority of its products are no longer manufactured in the home country of Sweden. In the USA many customers lament that most of the Wal-Mart product line is now made in China, and with its growth IKEA has done this as well to keep costs down. One very unique thing about IKEA products is the single word names they have. To a new shopper of the chain it can cause some confusion, with some of the Nordic type names. One reason that the store does this is because of its founder Ingvar is dyslexic and was easily confused by product numbers.
Ikea Value Chain
IKEA stores sometimes have restaurants as well that feature Swedish food of course. There is also a returned item area where you can buy reduced priced products that have been returned. Some of the stores are independent stores, while most of them are part of shopping centers and malls. If you prefer a mail order catalog they have published one since 1951, and it is now available in many different languages. They also have a magazine called IKEA Family Live to showcase its products and furniture, So if you are seeking a truly different type of shopping experience I would recommend shopping at a IKEA store, just brush up on your Swedish.
By Jeffrey Meier
Article Source: ezinearticles.com