Tag Archives: furniture

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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The Changing Face of Selling Furniture

Consumers are used to buying small items such as books, music, and household goods online thanks to Amazon and other ecommerce retailers. But what about shopping for larger and more expensive items such as furniture? Is there a market for online sales of furniture?

It turns out that the answer to that question is “yes.” Wayfair, Inc., a Boston-based retailer has no physical stores with very minimal inventory, but it has grown to be the largest online-only retailer in the United States with revenue more than $2.25 billion! The company advertises itself as selling “a zillion things home” and carries more than seven million products, from rugs to sofas. Utilizing a supply network of more than 7,000 different furnishings suppliers, the company ships large bulky items direct from suppliers to the consumers.

While it might initially seem that consumers would not be interested in buying furniture online, Wayfair uses a unique combination of Web site along with television shows to showcase its products and designs. The show “The Way Home” sponsored by Wayfair airs on Lifetime TV on Saturdays. Different episodes focus on design challenges including the latest trends, utilizing small spaces, and decorating on a budget.

Go ahead, see how to make over your least-favorite room on a budget!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  2. For furniture buying, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  3. Next, show Wayfair’s Web site: https://www.wayfair.com/
  4. Show Wayfair’s TV show: https://www.wayfair.com/thewayhome/?&episode=10&clip=1
  5. How is the company using integrated marketing communications?
  6. For furniture, who is the target market?
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Wayfair. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.

Source:  Wall Street Journal   

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