What is Ikea? (with photo)

Ikea started as a small company in Sweden.

Ikea is a Swedish company known for its modern and affordable furniture. The company specializes in compact styles, usually assembled by the home buyer. With nearly 300 stores worldwide, the store has gained a loyal following of budget-conscious shoppers and has even entered pop culture.

In the 1940s, the company sold small home accessories and knick-knacks throughout Sweden. Over time, the business expanded into the manufacture of furniture, originally sold by mail. In 1963, the first store was opened outside Sweden. The brand quickly spread across Scandinavia, with stores in Denmark and Norway. In the following decades, the store became popular throughout Europe and opened stores in America in 1985.

In 2008, the company had stores in 36 countries. Germany has the most locations, with 43 stores nationwide, while the United States is close behind with 34. With its bold, blue and yellow mega-stores, Ikea has flourished for a variety of reasons, including price, style and transparency volume of products.

The typical layout of an Ikea store includes one or more showroom floors for large pieces of furniture and multiple bedroom sets. Small departments such as lighting and textiles are spread across all departments. The lower floor of most stores includes a large storage section where boxes of displayed furniture are available for customer selection. The lower floor also has checkout lines and a section of imported Swedish foods available for purchase.

One of Ikea’s unique features is its restaurants. Instead of supplying chain restaurants, the company markets its own food in counter-service areas. Many stores offer a variety of food selections, from full breakfasts to frozen treats and gourmet cakes. Often, food selections include Swedish delicacies such as Swedish meatballs and blueberry soda. Following the company’s protocol, the food on sale is usually extremely affordable.

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The naming of private label products is a complicated system that can delight or confuse the customer. Many products are divided into special categories and named accordingly. For example, all rugs are named after Danish locations, while chairs and tables are named after men. The Nordic naming structure has led to some interesting marketing problems in other countries, where words can have different meanings. When this discrepancy is discovered, the company often renames the product.

Most Ikea locations are under the market control of the INGKA foundation, a Dutch charitable organization. As such, the company is part of the largest foundation in the world with an estimated net worth of $36 billion US Dollars (USD). The company also partners with UNICEF and American Forests on community projects.

In America, the store has become a common reference in popular culture. Due to the affordability of the company’s furniture and the relative poverty of college students, it’s often said that the dorms are “decorated by Ikea”. Several books and songs reference the company, such as the popular song “Ikea” by Jonathan Coulton and Christopher Moore’s book The Stupidest Angel, in which a troupe of zombies plan to eat brains and then visit the store to buy furniture. . Starting in the 21st century, Ikea has carved out a place in the world economy and community that seems to remain solid for many years to come.

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