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IKEA IKEA was founded in 1943 by a 17-year-old Swede named

IKEA IKEA was founded in 1943 by a 17-year-old Swede named Ingvar Kamprad who sold pens Christmas cards and seeds out of a shed on his familys farm. The name IKEA was derived from Kamprads initials (IK) and the first letters of the Elmtaryd farm and the village of Agunnaryd where he grew up (EA). Over the years the company grew intoa retail titan in home furnishings and a global cultural phe-nomenon inspiring BusinessWeek to call it a one-stop sanctuary for coolness and the quintessential cult brand. IKEA inspires remarkable levels of interest and devo-tion from its customers. Each year more than 650 million visitors walk through its stores all over the world. Most need to drive 50 miles round-trip but happily make the effort in order to experience IKEAs unique value proposi-tion: leading-edge design and functional home furnish-ings at extremely low prices. IKEAs Scandinavian-designed products are well made and appeal to the masses. To stay relevant and fashionable the company replaces approximately one-third of its product lines each year. Most have Swedish names such as HEKTAR lamps BILLY bookcases and LACK side tables. Kamprad who was dyslexic believed it was easier to remember product names rather than codes or numbers. Besides featuring fashionable and good-quality prod-ucts IKEA stands out in the industry because of its bar-gain prices. The companys vision is and always has been to create a better everyday life for the many people. As Kamprad said People have very thin wallets. We should take care of their interests. A high percentage of its cus-tomers are college students and families with children. IKEA continuously seeks out new ways to run its businesses more efficiently and pass those cost savings on to the customer. In fact it reduces prices across its products by 1 percent to 3 percent annually. How can it do so? For starters IKEA engages the consumer on many levels including having the customer do all the shopping shipping and assembly. IKEAs floor plan is designed in a winding one-way format featuring different inspirational room settings so consumers experience the entire store. Next they can grab a shopping cart pay for the items visit the warehouse and pick up their purchases in flat boxes. Consumers load the items in their car take them home and completely assemble the products themselves. This strategy makes storage and transportation easier and cheaper for the store. IKEA has also implemented several company-wide strategies to keep operational costs low. The company buys in bulk controls the supply chain uses lighter pack-aging materials and saves on electricity through solar panels low-wattage light bulbs and energy from its own wind farms in six different countries. Its stores are located a good distance from most city centers which helps keep land costs down and taxes low. When IKEA develops new products its designers and product developers start with a low price tag first and then work with one of their 1 350 suppliers around the world to develop the product within that price range. Designs are efficient and waste is kept to a minimum. Most stores resemble a large box with few windows and doors and are painted bright yellow and blueSwedens national colors. Many of IKEAs products are sold uniformly through-out the world but the company also caters to local and regional tastes. For example stores in China stock specific items for each New Year. During the Chinese Year of the Rooster IKEA stocked 250 000 plastic place-mats with rooster themes which quickly sold out. When employees realized U.S. shoppers were buying vases as drinking glasses because they considered IKEAs regular glasses too small the company developed larger glasses for the U.S. market. After IKEA managers vis-ited European and U.S. consumers in their homes they learned that Europeans generally hang their clothes whereas U.S. shoppers prefer to store them folded. As a result IKEA designed wardrobes for the U.S. market with deeper drawers. Showrooms in each country or region vary as well. For example managers learned that many U.S. con-sumers thought IKEA sold only European-size beds. Beds are very important to U.S. consumers so IKEA quickly changed its U.S. showrooms to feature king beds and a wide range of styles. After visiting Hispanic households in California IKEA added more seating and dining space to its California stores as well as brighter color palettes and more picture frames on the show-room walls. In China IKEA set up its showrooms in small spaces to accurately reflect the small size of apartments in that country. As the company expands globally it is learning that attitudes towards its core DIY (do it yourself) delivery and assembly business model vary. In China for ex-ample consumers do not want to assemble products themselves and will pay a significant amount for home delivery and assembly. As a result IKEA has added these services and sales in Asia have taken off. The company plans to implement the same strategy in India where DIY is also less common. IKEA is known for its quirky marketing campaigns which help generate excitement and awareness of its stores and brand. It ran a campaign inviting customers to be the Ambassador of Kul (Swedish for fun) but in order to collect the prize the contestants had to live in an IKEA store for three full days before it opened which they happily did. Thousands of people will line up for a chance to win prizes and IKEA furniture. In Sweden IKEA launched a Facebook page for the manager of a new store. Anyone who could tag his or her name to an IKEA product on the profile page won that item. The promotion generated thousands of tags. IKEA has evolved into the largest furniture retailer in the world with approximately 350 stores in 43 countries and revenues topping 27.9 billion or $36 billion in 2013. The majority of sales still come from Europe but the company has aggressive plans to expand the $11 bil-lion brand further into Asia India and the United States.Questions1. What are some of the things IKEA is doing well to reach consumers in different markets? What else could it be doing?2. IKEA has essentially changed the way people shop for furniture. Discuss the pros and cons of this strategy especially as the company plans to continue to ex-pand in places like Asia and India. Attachments: IKEA-IKEA-was….docx