Thursday, July 06, 2006


I like going to this place coz it’s big and has a lot of stuff. I think Norway is the first country outside Sweden that sell this brand. I wonder if IKEA is well-known in other countries.


Anonymous Bahr said...

the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, is born in Småland, in the south of Sweden.
He was raised on a farm called Elmtaryd, near the small village of Agunnaryd. Even as a young boy, Ingvar knew that he wanted to develop a business. He started by selling matches to neighbours from his bicycle. He found that he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm and sell them individually at a very low price but still make a good profit. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds and later ball-point pens and pencils.

IKEA is founded by Ingvar Kamprad.
In 1943, when Ingvar was 17, his father gave him a gift for succeeding in his studies. The gift was used to establish his own business. The name IKEA was formed from the founder's initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the farm and village where he grew up. IKEA originally sold pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings—whatever Ingvar found a need for that he could fill with a product at a reduced price.

the first IKEA advertisements appear in local newspapers.
When Ingvar Kamprad outgrew his ability to make individual sales calls, he began advertising in local newspapers and operating a makeshift mail order catalogue. He distributed his products via the county milk van, which delivered them to the nearby train station.

furniture is introduced into the IKEA product range.
The furniture was produced by local manufacturers in the forests close to Ingvar Kamprad’s home. The positive response was gratifying, and the line expanded.

the first IKEA furniture catalogue is published.
The founder of IKEA saw the opportunity of becoming a furniture provider on a larger scale. He soon made the decision to discontinue all of the other products and focus directly on low-priced furniture, and the IKEA that we know today was born.

the furniture showroom is opened in Älmhult.
The IKEA range focused to home furnishing products in the early 1950s. The opening of the showroom was an important moment in the development of the IKEA concept. For the first time customers could see and touch our furnishings before ordering. This came about as a solution to a problem. IKEA found itself in a price war with its main competitor. As both companies lowered prices, quality came at risk. By opening the showroom, IKEA could in three dimensions present its products with function, quality and low price. And people did just what IKEA had hoped: they wisely chose the products with the best value for the money.

IKEA begins designing its own furniture.
There were several reasons for IKEA to start designing its own furniture. But what actually led to this—possibly our best move ever—was quite ironic. Pressure from our competitors caused suppliers to boycott IKEA. This reaction to our early success required us to begin designing our own furniture, and became the basis for future growth. Ultimately, this would lead to innovative design and improved function at lower prices. Then, by lucky inspiration, one early IKEA employee decided to remove a table’s legs so it would fit into a car, and to avoid transport damage. From that point on, we began to think in terms of design for flat packaging. Which led to even further reductions in price for our customers. A pattern had begun to establish itself at IKEA. Turning problems into opportunities.

IKEA begins testing flat packages.
Designing products so that they can be packed flat and assembled by our customers greatly reduces their cost. This was obvious from the very first day we took the legs off a table and put it in a car. We can ship more items in one truck, less storage space is required, labour costs are reduced and transport damages are avoided. For the customer, this means lower priced products and easy transportation home. But all of this began carefully, one product at a time.

the first IKEA store is inaugurated in Älmhult.
6,700 square metres of home furnishings! At the time, it was the largest furniture display in Scandinavia.

Gillis Lundgren—the fourth employee at IKEA—designs TORE, possibly our biggest sales success ever.
While visiting a kitchen manufacturer, he noticed the simple, practical storage ideas we use in our kitchens and had the inspiration to apply that same thinking throughout the home. As soon as he got back to Älmhult, he sat down and designed TORE.

The hundredth employee joins IKEA.

the first IKEA store in Norway opens outside Oslo.
This was also our first store not located in Sweden.

Marian Grabinski, consul and architect, designs the MTP bookcase.
It was a contemporary classic, and spawned numerous imitators over the years. In building this and other wood products, IKEA forged good relations with Polish suppliers in the 50s and 60s. These relationships still provide the basis for many of our efforts to maintain prices at levels which the majority of people can afford.

ÖGLA chair is redesigned to fit the IKEA concept of form, function and price.

the IKEA store in Stockholm is opened.
Thousands of people queued for the opening of our flagship store. The 45,800 square metre store has a circular design, inspired by New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The success created huge capacity problems in serving the customers. By opening the warehouse and letting people serve themselves, an important part of the IKEA concept was born.

The first IKEA store opens in Denmark.

the arrival of particleboard makes its mark on IKEA during the 60s.
This inexpensive, hard-wearing and easy to process material was a natural fit for IKEA. In 1969, the PRIVAT sofa was designed by architect Åke Fribryter. It had a particleboard base with a white lacquer finish, and brown floral cretonne covers by the textile artist Sven Fristedt. The straight lines, no-nonsense practicality and unbeatable low price were a tremendous success for the times.

the first store outside Scandinavia is opened outside Zurich, Switzerland.
Its success paved the way for a rapid expansion in Germany, which is the largest IKEA market today.

The first IKEA store opens in Munich, Germany.

SKOPA chair is designed by Olle Gjerlöv-Knudsen and Torben Lind.
Modern plastics give designers lots of new ways to construct good furnishings. But choosing the right production method becomes an important question in the design process. When it came to choosing a manufacturer for our SKOPA chair, the answer was wonderfully simple, even if it did cause a few raised eyebrows. After months of fruitless searching, we took another long look at the shape of the chair and hit upon the idea of asking a manufacturer of plastic bowls and buckets to lend us a hand. Neither form or function were compromised by this unorthodox solution. On the contrary, the final lines were even cleaner.

The first IKEA store in Australia opens.

The first IKEA store opens in Canada.

The first IKEA store in Austria opens.

The first IKEA store opens in the Netherlands.

the KLIPPAN sofa appears.
The same year that the United Nations declared “The Year of the Child,” IKEA declared “The Year of the Children’s Living Room.” Our KLIPPAN sofa was tough enough to soak up the kind of punishment only children know how to dish out, yet soft enough to fall asleep on when bedtime stories grow too long. The entire cover was removable for machine washing.

The first IKEA store opens in France.

LACK shelves are born.

The six-thousandth employee joins IKEA.

The first IKEA store opens in Belgium.

the Stockholm range of furnishings appears.
IKEA designed a series of high quality furnishings using some of our favourite materials—birch wood, leather and cretonne. Our STOCKHOLM range had everything you would expect of classic high quality, except the high price tag. STOCKHOLM was a winner of the Excellent Swedish Design award.

the first IKEA store opens in the USA.
At first, we weren’t sure the USA needed IKEA. After all, what could we bring to the country that has everything? But we discovered there is a need everywhere for useful, attractive home furnishings at prices for every wallet.

MOMENT sofa is designed by Niels Gammelgaard.
When we were looking for a suitable manufacturer for this sofa, we went to a supermarket trolley factory to make use of all they knew about strength and stability. We took that as a starting point, and created a stylish, comfortable and low-priced sofa with a modern look. When we designed the matching table in 1987, it won the Excellent Swedish Design prize—something few supermarket trolleys can boast of.

The first IKEA store in the UK opens.

The first IKEA store opens in Italy.

The first IKEA stores in Hungary and Poland opens.

The first IKEA stores opens in Czech Republic and United Arab Emirates.

IKEA reaches 114 stores in 25 countries.

KUBIST storage units appear.
This was one of the first IKEA products built with board-on-frame construction. We used a technique for door manufacturing to create inexpensive, sturdy and lightweight storage units. To make beautiful, functional and affordable products for the majority of people, IKEA designers try to carry out product development on the shop floor. Working with existing manufacturers of board-on-frame doors, IKEA saves money. In this case, old factories in Poland were retooled to make parts for KUBIST and other IKEA products.

DAGIS kids’ chair, by Richard Clack, is born.
He obviously took a long, hard look at kids before he designed it. Children do not have sharp corners, they are fairly soft but can stand up to a little rough and tumble now and again. They are cheeky but cute and they just love the hurly-burly of childhood. In this spirit, he designed his chair for children. And then he added one little improvement. As far as we know, children do not yet come in stackable versions to save space and facilitate moving them. DAGIS, on the other hand, does.

The first IKEA store opens in Spain.

IKEA introduces Children’s IKEA.
IKEA has always provided furnishings for the entire family. But since kids are the most important people in the world, IKEA decided to put them in the spotlight. We worked with two groups of experts to develop products. Child psychologists and professors in playing helped us develop things that are good for kids’ motor skills, social development and creativity. Then the other experts, kids, helped us choose the winners. Play areas, children’s room settings, baby areas, special meals in the restaurant and still more play areas make IKEA a place kids love to visit.

The first version of launches.

IKEA opens its first store in China.

IKEA numbers 53,000 co-workers across a global network of over 150 stores in 29 countries on four continents.
IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad initiated the Big Thank You Event as a millennium reward to the many co-workers within the IKEA group. The total of all sales worldwide on this special day was given to the employees. The goal for the day was high, but the actual result was higher—approximately 187 million NLG. Every co-worker, from the snack bar staff and stock clerks to the president, got the same bonus. For most, this bonus was more than a month’s pay. It turned out to be a great way to thank the hard working IKEA co-workers for contributing to the success over the last millennium. And this is only the beginning.

IKEA wins an international design award for VÄRDE kitchen.
VÄRDE is a whole new way to think about the kitchen. Because of VÄRDE’s unique, modular design, you can create an entire kitchen from scratch or simply add a piece here or there. This and its attractive design in classic birch veneer with white details helped it win the Red Dot for Highest Design Quality award. The Red Dot prizes are internationally recognised seals for innovative design and are awarded annually in the "Design Innovations" competition held by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany. Judges evaluate entered products on their degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics, ecological compatibility, and durability.

The first IKEA store opens in Russia.

IKEA and UNICEF join together to build community in India.
Together with UNICEF, IKEA initiated a broad community program in the north of India in August 2000. The aim is to prevent child labour by creating awareness and addressing the root causes. The three-year project focuses on 200 rural communities, involving the villagers in strategies for preventing child labour.

UNICEF and IKEA encourage school enrolment and have established alternative learning centres (ALCs) as a transitory measure to formal primary schools. Through the formation of self-help groups, the project also helps rural women to enhance their economic status by improving access to credit and income generating opportunities.

11:12 am  
Anonymous Bahr said...

Loved and Hated, furniture you have to assemble at home. But you can have them do it for you at a cost.

It have changed furniturebusiness forever, everybody now deliver funitures in flat boxes, but none as effective as IKEA.

But also it made furniture so cheap that no-one inherit things, they buy new. Old people in Norway are sad to see that no-one want their old furniture, they are given away and even that is sometime difficult.

More garbage.

Here new IKEA furnitures are cheaper than 2. hand in Salvation Armys outlet.

11:19 am  
Blogger Kala said...

When I was in Toronto, Ikea was really big there - but we have no Ikea here - very funny it brings me back memories! My ex GF is from TO.

11:23 am  
Blogger Kala said...

damn, I just noticed this - The first commenter listed the whole history of Ikea - WOW

11:24 am  
Blogger Jazzy said...

What an impressive bio.
I think that none of the countries in Balkans don't have Ikea.

12:53 pm  
Blogger Natalie said...

My kitchen table and my daughter's dresser are from IKEA.

4:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! More than I ever wanted to know about IKEA.

4:59 pm  
Blogger Edwin Sumun said...

Ikea! In it's original colour Red! The global colour for the brand is yellow and blue. I saw a swedish Ikea catalogue from the 70s. It was great. I am an Ikea addict!

6:01 pm  
Anonymous anne said...

Hmm I have not heard of Ikea here in the Philippines, but because of the first comment I feel very close to Ikea now ;-)

6:12 pm  
Blogger Juggerpix said...

Yes, I have been to the big blue Ikea building outside Chicago. They upset me a couple years ago by discontinuing a shelving unit I was planning on getting :( ... But I forgive them.

9:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, my house in England was furnished by IKEA and I'm here in Tenerife, typing at a locally purchased desk, you guessed it, at IKEA. Can't get away from them really. :)

6:36 pm  
Blogger John said...

Big in Melbourne, Australia too!

12:39 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

I went for a job interview at IKEA once. When I knocked on the door the interviewer said "Come in and make yourself a chair!"

3:11 pm  
Blogger ~tanty~ said...

Thank you for all of the comments. I really appreciate it.

6:33 pm  
Blogger Passante said...

I'm a bit late to comment, but I just got back from vacation. IKEA is big in the USA. I love their stuff because it is very simple, mostly good quality, and inexpensive. People without much money can have stylish things from IKEA.

10:45 pm  
Blogger Thiên said...

Our closest IKEA is Houston, TX. Soon we'll get one in Round Rock so that's a bit closer for me. We usually hit IKEA while shopping in Houston. My son LOVES the store.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Sarah said...

Round Rock? Cool!

We have several things in our house from IKEA (lights, pillows, pitchers, etc.). Also this garden gnome. We bought two...and I wish I had bought more!

12:28 am  
Blogger Felicia said...

I am so happy to have an IKEA just 15 minutes from my house. We used to have to drive to Orange County for IKEA (about 2 hours away).

8:29 am  
Blogger Sally said...

Do they have the cafe with Swedish meatballs in your Ikea?

We have two, maybe 3 IKEA stores in Sydney.

3:00 pm  
Blogger ~tanty~ said...

Sally: Yes, they have :)

9:20 pm  
Blogger Sally said...

Mmmmm! Yum.

4:27 pm  
Blogger Jane said...

I love IKEA! SAd to say but we don't have that here in the Philippines. I can only buy in Singapore or HK branches. I could max out my credit card just buying stuffs there. Yes... my house could be an IKEA showroom...:)

6:00 am  
Blogger blogsearcher said...

What are you looking for today?

4:25 am  
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8:07 pm  

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