10 Interesting Facts about IKEA

October 24, 2018

Origins of the name IKEA

Many customers often ponder over the pronunciation of IKEA and its meaning. IKEA is the initials of Ingvar Kamprad , the founder, Elmtaryd, the farm which Ingvar grew up in and Aggunaryd, the village nearby.

Its affluent founder was a frugal man

Despite being one of the riches people on earth when he was alive, Ingvar Kamprad still maintained a humble lifestyle. Unlike his peers, Kamprad continued to fly economy around the world to pay visits to new stores while staying in inexpensive overseas accommodation. He was also known to replace bottles in IKEA’s minibars with cheaper bottles bought locally.

IKEA manufactures 3 million BILLY bookcases each year

The BILLY book shelf first made its debut in 1978 and has since permeated approximately 60 million homes.  The versatility of the book shelf and its affordability made the Billy a hit across the globe. Ikea sells a BILLY bookshelf every 10 seconds. The bookshelf is so commonly found in different households across the globe that Bloomberg uses it as an index to measure purchasing power in countries worldwide.

Meatballs were part of IKEA’s marketing

Hungry customers meant that the customers would have less patience for the process of choosing furniture.  Kamprad realised that the reason why many customers left the shop without buying anything was because they were hungry. In 1960, he opened the first restaurant in an Ikea shop and the rest is well known history

Horse meat was once found in the meatballs

IKEA meatballs had traces of horse meat.  The company recalled its meatballs in 2013 after test results reflected DNA of horse meat. This incident was thought to be a part of a larger issue of contamination linked to shady suppliers and affected most large brands in Europe.

The founder’s dyslexic condition gave rise to the names of IKEA’s goods

Kamprad was dyslexic and had trouble identifying products by numbers. As such, IKEA’s home goods are labelled by mostly one-word names of Scandinavian origins rather than product codes. Not only did it help Kamprad, it also helped the brand to further appeal to its customers.

Competitors’ pressure for suppliers to boycott IKEA resulted in their popular flat packaging

According to IKEA, exploring the concept of flat packaging began when one of the first IKEA employee removed the legs of one of their tables . This was to ensure that it could be packed into a car and potential damage during a car ride was avoided. In addition to IKEA’s desire to be more environmentally sustainable, flat packing was a means in which more IKEA products could be shipped from the supplier at once.

IKEA constructed an apartment on a rock-climbing wall

In 2016, known for its exuberant ad campaigns, IKEA built a vertical apartment layout on top of a climbing wall . This was to celebrate the opening of the 30th IKEA store in France. The public was welcomed to climb the prop with the help of safety harnesses.

Build your furniture, build your relationship .

Seeing bickering couples in IKEA inspired Dr. Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University Los Angeles to use building IKEA furniture as a means of couple therapy. Building a piece of furniture together allowed couples to understand the dynamics of their relationship better.

No words , less cost

There are no words in the IKEA instruction manual. In their place, “ assembly figures” teach consumers how to assemble the furniture together. The simplicity of these infographics teaching IKEA consumers how to construct their furniture has gained these cartoons popularity worldwide. However, the actual reason behind not printing information in words is because the manuals would be thicker, making it costlier to print. However, what the lack of words spell for most customers is a hard-to-assemble furniture.

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