Tag Archives: furniture

Rent Furniture instead of Buying

Most college students likely have furniture that includes hand-me-downs from family and friends, or purchases from garage sales and Craig’s List. The sofa in their living room was probably once used by Aunt Helen in Kentucky, transported by Cousin Patrick to New York, sold to his friend Alan who moved to New Jersey, and who knows who else as it made its way around the country! And that is fine for young millennials who are just starting out. But eventually, their longing turns to new furniture that they view regularly on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.

But it’s hard to swallow that high-priced new furniture. New furniture buyers are likely shocked by the price for that brand-new West Elm sofa. How can they afford that thousand-dollar sofa when they have to pay student loans, car payments, rent, and everything else?

Enter: Services that let you rent furniture through a monthly membership, giving you the option to swap out furniture when tastes and trends change. For example, a popular West Elm sofa may cost $899 in stores, but it can be rented from Feather at $52/month (12-month subscription), and then swapped out, renewed, or returned. Individual pieces as well as full-rooms can be rented in certain cities. It’s a new way to live more upscale without having to pay out the entire fee at once.

Shall we redecorate?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students. Where is their furniture from? Family, friends, neighbors, Craigs List?
  2. What would be their interest level to rent new furniture once they graduate and begin working? How much would they be willing to pay?
  3. Show furniture rental sites:

West Elm: https://www.renttherunway.com/westelm

Casa One: https://www.casaone.com/

Fernish: https://fernish.co/

Feather: https://www.livefeather.com/

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team examine the information for a different furniture rental company.
  2. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  4. Based on the target market profile, what makes this service unique for these customers?
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Carefoot, H. (25 April 2019). Can’t afford that West Elm sofa? Rent it instead. Washington Post.

 

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IKEA Opens its First Store in India

IKEA has opened its first store in India. The store, located in Hyderabad, cost roughly $100 million to build and is an estimated 400,000 square feet. The company plans to have up to 25 stores in India by 2025.

India has a large and complex retail base. The country’s 1.3 billion people account for about $30 billion per year for furniture and household items. However, unlike the U.S., 95% of the goods are sold through small shops that offer specialty products or single-category stores. IKEA’s broad product mix and store operations had to be significantly revised for India. While the store layout is similar to other IKEAs, the displays are different, featuring hundreds of products priced at 100 rupees or less ($1.45 U.S.).

To research how India’s people live and shop, employees visited about 1,000 homes in different areas of India to understand consumers’ needs. Some differences: most Indians do not use knives to eat, women are shorter than Europeans, and children often sleep in the same room as their parents until they are school-age. In addition, India’s government requires foreign-owned, single-brand retailers to use local suppliers for 30% of the value of the goods sold in India.

IKEA, the Sweden-based multinational, now owns and operates 415 stores in 49 countries around the globe. With revenue in excess of $42 billion (U.S.), and an estimated 12,000 products, the company uses more than 1% of the world’s commercial-product wood.

It’s not always easy to change, but entering a new market requires research and revision.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their experiences at IKEA. What works, doesn’t work?
  2. View the IKEA India website: https://www.ikea.com/in/en/
  3. A video of IKEA India store is available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/ikea-says-namaste-to-indian-customers-as-it-throws-open-its-first-store-in-hyderabad/videoshow/65340339.cms
  4. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a SWOT for IKEA in India.
  6. What are the issues and risks?

Source:  Goel, V. (7 August 2018). Ikea opens first India store, tweaking products but not the vibe. New York Times.

 

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ReUse and ReCycle IKEA Products

Sustainability is an important topic to consumers and companies alike. We all hate to waste products and materials if they might have a future use. And, yet, it sometimes seems as if certain products are made to deliberately fall apart sooner than we consumers thinks they should. What should a consumer do? Well, one answer is to repurpose the aging item. Case in point: IKEA’s Stockholm carpet.

IKEA continues its efforts to help consumers think of ways to reuse its products (remember the “Big Blue Bag” article we wrote recently?). The latest idea from the company is 18 different ways to turn an old Stockholm carpet into new items, instead of just throwing it out. Some of the creative ideas include:

  • Doormat
  • Dog blanket
  • Shopping bag
  • Snowshoes
  • Stair carpet
  • Punching bag
  • Compost insulator
  • Scratching post

Think of items in your house. Can they be reused instead of tossed in the trash?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how companies can take initiatives on recycling and reusing worn items. What are examples that students can think of?
  2. Show IKEA’s Stockholm blog: https://m2.ikea.com/no/no/ideas/-ebc301c155a511e7b6087300b3bddef9, and play the video.
  3. What are other products and companies that could use a similar approach to recycle and reuse?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team work on a product that could be reused into a new product.
  5. Alternative: Bring in old rugs or other products and have each team work on repurposing the item into something new.

Source:   Creativity Online

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