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IKEA: the most impressive touchpoints of the global market leader in furniture trade

For Billy, Pax and Köttbullar, customers have to walk an average of 3.5 kilometers from the entrance to the checkout. Despite this, IKEA is one of the top ten most valuable corporate brands in the global retail sector. The IKEA furniture group was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden in 1943. Today, the Swedish home furnishings company is the global leader in furniture retailing. The USA is the second most important market for IKEA worldwide, surpassed only by Germany as the country with the highest sales, with sales of 5.305 billion euros.

The IKEA stores

1. IKEA store1

Four letters and the striking colors blue and yellow. IKEA is by far the strongest brand among furniture stores. The brand name IKEA is just an abbreviation. IK are the initials of founder Ingvar Kamprad, E stands for Elmtaryd, the name of the farm where he grew up, and A for Agunnaryd, Kamprad’s home village. In 1974, the first German furniture store was opened in Eching. There are currently 55 stores in Germany, more than in any other country. Worldwide, Ikea has a total of 458 stores.

The famous BILLY shelf from IKEA

2. IKEA BILLY shelf2

BILLY is a familiar name not only to IKEA fans. BILLY may not bear the signature of a well-known designer, but in the IKEA world Gillis Lundgren is a household name to all – he was one of the first employees of IKEA. The bookcase has been produced by IKEA’s Swedish supplier Gyllensvaans Möbler since 1978. Since then, it is estimated that more than 78 million pieces have crossed the IKEA counters. Worldwide, a BILLY shelf is sold every ten seconds. Annually, IKEA sells about 7 million BILLY worldwide.

Furniture names from IKEA

3. IKEA names3

One of IKEA’s trademarks is the names of its furniture. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad suffers from a weakness of numbers. As a result, all IKEA products have names, not numbers. However, they are not fantasy products: In Sweden, two employees are busy just finding new names – on the map. Sofas, armchairs or coffee tables usually have Swedish place names, while carpets, on the other hand, are named after Danish places. And bathroom items are logically named after rivers and lakes.

Catalog from IKEA

4. IKEA catalog4

The Ikea catalog was eagerly awaited in millions of households every fall. The 300-page book was available in 29 languages. In 2020, the catalog was published in its last print version; since then, it has only been available digitally and as an app. Another superlative from the house of Ikea: With a circulation of 220 million copies, it is the most widely distributed book in the world.

Warehouse of IKEA

5. IKEA warehouse5

The prices in the first IKEA catalog were so low that people initially had doubts about the quality of the products. So Ingvar decided to turn an old workshop in Älmhult into a furniture exhibition where people could look at and try out the products before ordering them. In 1956, there was the first idea of dismantling the legs of the LÖVET table. This led to the concept of self-assembly and the flat package.

Food at the IKEA restaurants

6. IKEA food1

IKEA is now known not only for its furniture, but also for Swedish dishes and food. A third of customers visit IKEA for its food. Ingvar Kamprad thought early on that an empty stomach doesn’t like to shop. So he established restaurants in his stores. With great success: Thanks to Köttbullar & Co., IKEA is also one of the ten largest fast food providers in the world. IKEA sells around 150 million Köttbullar per year worldwide.

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