Looking at IKEA

The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad was born in a southern Swedish farm, which is called Elmtaryd, which is near the small village of Agunnaryd. There are more then 125 stores across the world in 28 countries. IKEA employ more then 3,000 people in the UK and more then 36,000 worldwide. There are about 12,000 products in the total IKEA product range. The company claims to stock everything needed to furnish a home and have over 10,500 products in each store.

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At 17 Ingvar Kamprads’ father gave him a gift, the gift was to establish his own successful company. From an early age he wanted to build up his own business. He would buy products in bulk such as matches as well as then pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings and sell them on more to make a profit. He would sell whatever was needed to make a profit.

From 1943 the company would now be known as IKEA, the name was based his initials, (I.K), the farm where he was born on (Elmtaryd) and the village he was born in (Agunnaryd). In 1945 IKEA began advertising, in local newspapers and making mail order catalogues. Seven years later he introduced furniture in his catalogues, and three years on he opened a furniture showroom so people could see what the product was before they bought it. This proved to be a big advantage over Ikea’s competitor.

In 1955 IKEA introduced “flat pack” this was to be a big move and that is what makes IKEA a successful company to this day. In the mid 60`s Ikea built up good relations with a Polish company who would supply them with the materials they need. In the 1970’s they started to expand in other countries and by 1985 they had reached the USA. In the 1990’s Ikea grew steadily and had 114 stores in 25 countries by 1993 .In 1997 they introduced children’s Ikea, which included Play areas, children’s room settings, and baby areas. The first version of Ikea.com was also launched. In 1999 Ikea had over 150 stores in 29 countries and in the same year they also won an award for their VRDE kitchen.

Ikea has an ambition to “produce affordable products for as many people as possible”, but this also brings a responsibility of protecting the environment too. They always try to be economical with recourses. Ikea likes to think that everything that has been used should be reused by man or in nature, to help the environment. The company are in constant search for new ways of preserving the environment, such as selecting responsible suppliers, recycling Ikea catalogues and selecting the right materials. Ikea has achieved many other things in the past decades relating to the environment such as:

Using solar panels of hot countries to convert sunrays in to electricity, or to warm water. Giving customers in a Swiss store to bring in their old furniture, which then can be recycled. A store in Sweden from 1993 has been sorting its own waste in to 15 different sections, so then can be recycled easier, and this has now made other stores follow suit. As well as caring for the environment they Ikea also sell products which you as a customer can help the environment. An example of such products are energy saving light bulbs which as well as helping the environment it also lasts longer then any light bulb.

Ikea believes that beautifully designed home furnishings shouldn’t come at a price. That is why at Ikea they design the price tag first, which should be affordable to everyone. Ikea products should be light, simple, and colourful, as well as being practical, but the most important is the price tag. The product must be well designed and also useful, that’s why at Ikea they try and combine form, function and price to create inexpensive, well designed home furnishings.

Ikea buys in bulk on a global scale that also saves on costs that are then passed on to the customer. This is where customers come in, to keep costs down everything is flat packed, so the customer can assemble their product, which saves time, and transportation costs. From 1951 Ingvar Kamprad introduced catalogues, and to this day there is a new Ikea catalogue released every year. Before the introduction of catalogues he advertised in locals newspapers and distributes mail order catalogues via the local milkman. 1997 was the date that www.Ikea.com was first introduced.

Ikea is a large home furnishings store, which is known all around the word. Many of its products are manufactured in different parts of the world. This can also lead to problems, such as transportation costs. Ikea have tackled this problem by having sawmills near to production factories. Ikea has also been accused of exploiting child workers in the past, in countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

Bang mug – This is one product that every Ikea store must have as it is one of the most popular products that Ikea stock. It is estimated that around 25 million of these mugs will be sold next year globally. Pia Eldin Lindst�n was given the task of creating a mug that had to be modern, functional, and environmentally considerate as well as being only five Swedish kronor. The name of the mug came from the price, it had to be a “knock out” price, hence the name Bang. This year it has been redesigned so it stacks better therefore can be transported easier. These BANG mugs are produced in Romania and are transported by rail, road and sea. Bang mug Turnover for the IKEA group The turnover for the financial year 2001 (1 September 2000 – 31 August 2001) was 10,4 billion Euros. This is equivalent to 9,6 billion USD.