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jerryking : ikea   17

Ikea dismantles tradition to seek inspiration from car industry
October 2, 2019 | Financial Times Richard Milne in Oslo.

Sometimes the complexity of their own companies can surprise top managers. Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of the owner of the Ikea brand, looks wide-eyed as he describes how the furniture retailer has nearly 100 different cabinets, sometimes with only 4-5 millimetres difference between models.

In storage solutions it has Pax wardrobes, Godmorgon bathroom cabinets, Metod in the kitchen and Besta in the living room — similar products but with subtly different heights or widths, making things difficult not just for the customer but also for Ikea itself.

So the world’s largest furniture retailer has looked to the car industry for inspiration. Platforms have dramatically changed the process of making cars — different models with vastly different pricing can be built on the same basic chassis. Changes are made between models on the things customers see — like the dashboard and entertainment systems — but much of the back-end that is invisible to drivers can be common.

Now Ikea is looking to bring platforms into home furnishing....Ikea is experimenting with city-centre and smaller shops as well as services such as home delivery and assembly. It is looking into renting out furniture instead of selling it, and smart home technology that brings it up against Silicon Valley.

Its platform initiative is one of its most important, albeit largely invisible to customers. Much still remains to be worked out such as just how much is common between different products — a dilemma recognisable from the car industry where Volkswagen faced complaints that there was little difference between VW and Skoda models except for the price.....standardisation should lead to lower prices for both it and customers. ....“How can we scale up in an efficient way? It’s difficult if we make each product uniquely. With platforms, it’s easier to adjust to new markets,” ...The new approach is not without risks though. Developing new platforms can be a costly business and in the car industry has often led to just as much complexity as before, particularly in companies like VW that are known for overengineering their vehicles, or confusion among consumers as to how big a difference there is between supposedly rival products.

Mr Loof is aware of the problem. “We need to define what makes sense to have on the platform and what not,” he says. “If you go too far you can arguably say you have decreased your range offer.”....for the furniture group, facing the same rapid changes in the retail landscape that have caused dozens of brands to fail, there is a feeling that it needs to do as much as it can even if it is likely to have failures on the way.
automotive_industry  CEOs  complexity  furniture  home_furnishing  Ikea  inspiration  platforms  retailers  risks  small_spaces  standardization  Torbjörn_Lööf 
october 2019 by jerryking
Ikea looks to launch sales platform that would include rival products
February 12, 2019 | Financial Times | Richard Milne in Almhult.

Ikea is exploring the launch of an online sales platform offering furniture not just from the famous flat-pack retailer but also from rivals as part of its big transformation...........

Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, added: “It is also about how you connect. If you take home furnishings, for instance — how you connect communities, how you connect knowledge, how you connect the home. It’s not only furniture, it’s paintings, it’s the do-it-yourself part. There are many different constellations that can and will evolve over the years to come.”
Alibaba  Amazon  brands  clothing  e-commerce  experimentation  fashion  furniture  home-assembly  Ikea  leasing  opportunities  platforms  retailers  third-party  Zalando  rivalries  digital_strategies  Torbjörn_Lööf  coopetition 
february 2019 by jerryking
Ikea furniture does not need to fall apart
Consumer companies can avoid an environmental dystopia by refurbishing and reusing more
FEBRUARY 6, 2019 | Financial Times | JOHN GAPPER
John Gapper
disposability  furniture  IKEA  refurbished 
february 2019 by jerryking
Inter Ikea’s Torbjorn Loof: making the vision clear
February 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Richard Milne.

Internal politics had supposedly never played much of a role in the tangled web of companies that makes up the world’s largest furniture retailer. But when Inter Ikea, little-known owner of the brand and concept, acquired the product range, design and manufacturing businesses in 2016 from its more famous sister company, Ikea Group, Torbjorn Loof was struck by the infighting.......The 53-year-old is running a franchise system that decides everything: from which products are on offer and what the stores look like, to the famous catalogues and flat-pack design. But rather than use his new-found power and influence, Mr Loof took a different approach..........Mr Loof is now engineering the biggest transformation Ikea has undertaken by changing its famed business model that has brought it so much success. Having giant out-of-town warehouses, where shoppers pick their own furniture and then build it at home, underpinned Ikea’s solid profitability for seven decades.

But now it is looking increasingly at city-centre stores, online shopping, home delivery and assembly, and more radical ideas such as leasing furniture and selling on websites such as Alibaba. Mr Loof says that challenging such a successful status quo is tricky, especially as the company does not have all the answers on what the new retail landscape will look like.....“We made sure that the vision and the purpose were very, very clear. Not spending too much time on what sometimes is in the middle of things — all the strategies and plans, and all of that had to come later.”......Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad said it was important to be long term and “think about where should we be in 200 years?” The managers smiled at his exaggeration and asked him if that wasn’t too much. “Yes, of course”, he said, “but then you make the short-term plan: that means the next 100 years”.....the toughest tasks is encouraging the entrepreneurship that characterised the company’s early days. He concedes that the decade-long period of growth in the early part of this century stifled Ikea’s creativity and recalls going to see Kamprad a few years ago when sales suddenly hit a bump. “I was a little bit worried. I said to Ingvar: ‘sales are not growing’, and then he looked at me and just smiled and he said: ‘wonderful! Crisis!’ So, there is this kind of [attitude] to love the crisis because the opportunities in the crisis are that you get more creative,” he adds. Ikea has experimented more with what Mr Loof calls the “phygital” — the place where the physical and digital worlds of shopping collide (e.g.an augmented reality app visualization of Ikea furniture in situ at a customer's home, as well as a virtual reality kitchen). ...Ikea will do numerous trials in the next few years: “Even if we would be the best planners, we hire brilliant business analysts, the best strategists, I think we would not make it. So, we have to be the fastest learners . . . daring to test things and make mistakes, but also again correct them.”
CEOs  clarity  Ikea  vision  mistakes  Communicating_&_Connecting  creativity  crisis  cyberphysical  transformational  city-centres  Alibaba  leasing  e-commerce  home-assembly  home-delivery  coopetition  radical_ideas  Torbjörn_Lööf 
february 2019 by jerryking
IKEA Jumps Into ‘Gig Economy’ With Deal for TaskRabbit
Sept. 28, 2017 | WSJ | By Saabira Chaudhuri and Eliot Brown.

IKEA agreed to acquire Silicon Valley startup TaskRabbit—the online marketplace that connects people with freelancers willing to run errands and do odd jobs—combining the pioneer of the flat pack with a trailblazer of the so-called gig economy.
....Documents related to a financing round from 2015 suggest TaskRabbit then had a valuation of about $50 million....the deal represents a bigger strategic tack at the furniture company. It also underscores a broader shift at many large companies grappling with big changes brought on by digitization. Many established corporations are increasingly turning to Silicon Valley to help their business grow, or slow their declines—sometimes spending heavily on small venture capital-backed startups that have strong traction with young consumers.

Especially where older industries are shifting rapidly, deals have piled up. Auto makers have become prolific investors and buyers of self-driving startups. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has become one of the more active buyers of startups as it grapples with a shift to e-commerce, including a June deal to buy men’s online clothier Bonobos.

Several large firms have launched small Silicon Valley outposts and venture capital arms of their own. Often, though, they say it makes more sense to buy these startups than build a new brand or operation themselves.

The TaskRabbit deal is IKEA’s first foray anywhere near Silicon Valley. The privately held company—when it has bought anything at all—has tended to focus on forestry and manufacturing firm purchases..... IKEA intends to also learn from TaskRabbit’s digital expertise. Retailers and brands globally have been racing to capture shopper data in a bid to personalize their offerings and build customer loyalty.......The bulk of IKEA’s sales are still made in its sprawling out-of-town superstores that house everything from plants to beds. It has 357 stores across 29 countries. But it has worked to adapt to a rise in online shopping, rolling out home delivery and click-and-collect options. IKEA has also been opening small, centrally located stores situated near public transport that stock a limited range of offerings and are also used as collection points.

The company’s website had 2.1 billion visits in fiscal 2016, up 9% from the prior year. Earlier in September, it launched an augmented reality app that lets people place IKEA furniture in their homes. It has also souped up its product range, offering tables and lamps that double up as wireless phone chargers and bulbs that can be controlled wirelessly.

“As urbanization and digital transformation continue to challenge retail concepts we need to develop the business faster and in a more flexible way,” Mr. Brodin said. “An acquisition of TaskRabbit would be an exciting leap in this transformation.”
IKEA  TaskRabbit  gig_economy  home-assembly  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  Silicon_Valley  large_companies  brands  Fortune_500  start_ups  e-commerce  home-delivery  BOPIS  augmented_reality  urbanization  digital_strategies  retailers  product_launches 
september 2017 by jerryking
Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera - The New York Times
Farhad Manjoo
STATE OF THE ART MARCH 8, 2017

The rising dependence on cameras & picture-based communications system is changing the way we communicate and could alter society in big ways. ...Snap’s success or failure isn’t going to be determined this week or even this year. This is a company that’s betting on a long-term trend: the rise and eventual global dominance of visual culture.Snap calls itself a camera company. That’s a bit cute, considering that it only just released an actual camera, the Spectacles sunglasses, late last year. Snap will probably build other kinds of cameras, including potentially a drone.

But it’s best to take Snap’s camera company claim seriously, not literally. Snap does not necessarily mean that its primary business will be selling a bunch of camera hardware. It’s not going to turn into Nikon, Polaroid or GoPro. Instead it’s hit on something deeper and more important. Through both its hardware and software, Snap wants to enable the cultural supremacy of the camera, to make it at least as important to our daily lives as the keyboard.....the rising dependence on cameras is changing our language. Other than in face-to-face communication, we used to talk primarily in words. Now, more and more, from GIFs to emoji, selfies to image-macro memes and live video, we talk in pictures.
Farhad_Manjoo  Snap  Snapchat  visual_culture  cameras  big_bets  Communicating_&_Connecting  IPOs  Ikea  trends  Instagram  imagery  Polaroid 
march 2017 by jerryking
How Ikea seduces us - The Globe and Mail
How Ikea seduces us
MARINA STRAUSS
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May 27, 2010
disposability  Ikea  Marina_Strauss 
january 2017 by jerryking
IKEA's Path to Selling 150 Million Meatballs - WSJ.com
Oct. 16, 2013 | WSJ | By Jens Hansegard.

When IKEA decided to sell food, it chose to do it in much the same way it sells furniture: a few standardized staples, sold in large quantities. The result: 150 million meatballs.

That is the number IKEA estimates will be dished out in store cafeterias this year. Though the Swedish company is better known for its inexpensive, assembly-required furniture, its IKEA Food division is a behemoth, rivaling Panera Bread and Arby's, with nearly $2 billion in annual revenue. The company estimates about 700 million people this year will eat in one of the cafeterias that are located in 300 IKEA stores world-wide. ...The idea of making a lot of food on site was considered too complicated. IKEA decided to outsource meatball production. While IKEA came up with the formula and specifications, a Swedish food supplier, Gunnar Dafgård AB, was contracted to supply them.
IKEA  meatballs  restaurants  Outsourcing  Swedish  Sweden  furniture  assembly-required  inexpensive  low-cost 
october 2013 by jerryking
India opens the door to international retailers - The Globe and Mail
STEPHANIE NOLEN

NEW DELHI — The Globe and Mail (includes correction)

Last updated Friday, Dec. 28 2012,
India  Stephanie_Nolen  retailers  FDI  Tesco  Wal-Mart  Carrefour  IKEA 
december 2012 by jerryking
IKEA's New Catalogs: Less Pine, More Pixels - WSJ.com
August 23, 2012, 10:27 a.m. ET

IKEA's New Catalogs: Less Pine, More Pixels
Computer-Generated Images Aim to Save Money on Marketing Costs as Photographers Are Retrained to Apply Skills to 3-D Scenes

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By JENS HANSEGARD
Ikea  diversification  furniture 
october 2012 by jerryking
More mileage to gain from bikes and B-52s
January 10, 2007 | Financial Times pg. 9 | By Alan Cane who
reviews "The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since
1900," by David Edgerton. Oxford University Press

Edgerton pursues three propositions:

First, that conventional histories of technological progress are partial, incomplete and weighted towards innovation and invention.

Second, that older technologies – the guillotine, the rickshaw, corrugated iron and the horse among them – have an importance in the modern world that is often overlooked by “innovation-centric” pundits.

Third, that “to rethink the history of technology is necessarily to rethink the history of the world”.
.....Edgerton targets what he perceives as sloppy and clichéd thinking that celebrates the new and innovatory and ignores the old and useful..... Edgerton attacks authors who treat the history of technology as a succession of “boys toys”, who laud their innovators and inventors as heroes, and who play down the importance of copying, adapting and transferring......Edgerton argues that Ikea, the Swedish retailer, is a “wonderful” example of his arguments. “First, of the continuing significance of what we take to be old, in this case, not just furniture, but wooden furniture, supplied obviously by forests. In terms of industry, it exemplifies beautifully the extension rather than the retreat of mass production, and its globalisation, producing fantastically cheap outputs. In terms of service industries it is an example of mass retailing and mass consumption of identical goods.”......not all technologies are successful, that economics and culture play a big part in the rate at which technologies are adopted by particular countries and how long they continue to be useful, and that innovation is not a sure road to prosperity.....investments in research and development does not necessarily lead to economic growth and that change is more frequently the result of the transfer of technologies between companies and countries.
book_reviews  reverse_innovation  think_threes  Ikea  furniture  R&D  books  policymakers  technology_transfers  copycats  technology  adaptability  mass_production 
february 2010 by jerryking
STRATEGY PERKONOMICS: The customer's always right ... and looking for a perk
Nov. 24, 2008 G&M column by Harvey Schachter looking at customer care plus assorted tips on branding.

some companies are gaining an edge through what it calls "Perkonomics" - adding perks and privileges to the regular offering in order to gain loyalty by satisfying consumers' desire for novel forms of status and/or convenience.

Perkonomics applies across all industries, and even to luxury brands that can search for additional status perks to offer customers. In most cases, the perks are free but in some instances the customer pays for the privilege.

Examples.

Exclusive Perks: American Express cardholders had exclusive access to purchase the winning dress designed on the episode of Project Runway of Sept. 3 - non-Amex customers could not purchase it.

No Queue Perks: Skipping a lineup can be a big time saver and, hence, a major perk. Avis Preferred membership enables car rental customers to skip lines and paperwork and go straight to their car, at more than 1,400 locations worldwide.

Concierge Perks: Amsterdam-based private bank Insinger de Beaufort launched a service aimed at saving its top clients the time and hassle of dealing with the minutiae of their personal finances. The clients are sent a big shoebox by courier every month into which they drop bills to be paid, receipts, tax returns, speeding tickets, insurance documents and the like, which the bank then handles for them.

Assorted Perks: South African health insurance company Discovery has a wellness program called Vitality that offers rewards for a healthy lifestyle based on scientific measurement. Members receive points by decreasing their risk factors for illness, and the higher the points, the greater the access to shopping and travel discounts. Nokia in the Philippines has installed battery-charging stations for phones throughout the Manila subway system, which Nokia owners can use at no cost.

Parking Perks: IKEA stores in Canada feature two Green Parking spaces close to the store reserved for drivers of hybrid cars and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Harvey_Schachter  customer_care  tips  branding  innovation  perks  product_launches  Amex  queuing  parking  customer_loyalty  loyalty_management  exclusivity  concierge_services  quantified_self  IKEA  Green_P  risk_factors 
january 2009 by jerryking

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