Tuesday, June 12, 2018
IKEA: Transforming the World
I should really have had the date of 1987 seared into my mind, but I had to Google check the year when the first IKEA store opened in my native England.
Soon after this time, and I mean a year or two only, IKEA had shifted and then completely overturned the home furnishing Universe in the UK forever.
Today IMHO it is so far ahead of the competition, well, there is no competition
England, DIY, 1980's
Anybody trying to tastefully furnish their own home, but not using an expensive Department store had their expectations set very low by the competition to IKEA. Other DIY or Self assembly furniture stores specialised in
- Bland Designs
- Flatpack products that were often a component or too short or broken
- Self assembly products, not designed to be easy or logical to construct at home
- Low stock issues, variety of poor delivery issues
- Stores that argue the toss when you try to return goods
In summary, the bar was set low, and IKEA came in and easily exceeded most people's expectations
Today in 2018
In 2018 most of Western Europe is well served by IKEA. When in Switzerland last Christmas, Marcus and Agata decided to buy our favourite crockery set whilst house-sitting. Why? Because we love its clean design, easy to clean surfaces, and it costs just pennies, even in Switzerland!!
But Europe is now sorted. I want to talk about Asia, and in fact India
India and Infrastructure
- India has terrible infrastructure
- A huge rich and poor divide
- For me, far too many people at the poverty line or below
- A total and utter lack of large, choice ridden, carefully designed and economically priced Western style (International Style) furniture stores.
IKEA and other large multi-nationals have tried for years to enter the Indian market but Government restrictions, often to protect the local shops and shopkeepers have stymied all attempts to provide the IKEA experience.
But times, they are a changing.
IKEA arrives to India in 2018
Soon it will not just be returning ex-Pat Indians to India who will drone on and on and on about that wonderful IKEA, all Indians will be able to visit a store in their own country.
And wait till they find out what they have been missing. It will be like England in the late 80's. You wait and see!
Tracy Chapman: Talkin About a Revolution