Posts Tagged ‘IKEA’

IKEA charges the way of things to come

March 2, 2015

It’s the IKEA desk today and it will not be long before it is everywhere in your office or in your home. IKEA is now rolling  out a line of its desks that will wirelessly charge all your devices that are capable of being wirelessly charged. It will surely not be so long till the day when your devices are automatically and wirelessly charged anywhere in your office or in your home.

IKEA Skrivbord och arbetsbord

WPC Press Release:

Global home furnishings retailer IKEA today announced a product launch of Qi-powered bedside tables, lamps and desks that eliminates cable mess and makes it easier to stay connected with always-charged mobile devices.

IKEA said the wireless charging home furnishings will be available in Europe and North America this April, followed by a global rollout. The announcement girds support for Qi – the leading global wireless charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium.  

“IKEA is delivering on its vision of making life at home better with this innovative, stylish and useful new collection that show consumers the beauty and simplicity of wireless charging,” said Menno Treffers, WPC chairman. “We applaud IKEA for its unmatched insight and their unique passion for making wireless charging affordable and simple for consumers.”

Qi is the most widely deployed wireless power standard, available in 3,000 hotels, restaurants, airports and public locations worldwide. There are now more than 80 Qi-enabled smartphones, 15 models of Qi-enabled cars and countless Qi mobile accessories in the market today.

“Our belief is that mobile phones are vital parts to people’s lives at home and their desire to stay connected, and Qi addresses an unmet need to keep devices powered,” said Bjorn Block, Range Manager for Lighting and Wireless Charging, at IKEA. “As a member of WPC, we value the access to the leading and most advanced global standard for wireless charging.”   

During Mobile World Congress, WPC will showcase the latest Qi-enabled products at booth 5C41, Hall 5.

About the Wireless Power Consortium and Qi
Established in 2008, the Wireless Power Consortium is an open, collaborative standards development group of more than 200 company members. WPC’s members include Belkin, ConvenientPower, Delphi, Freescale, Haier, HTC, IKEA, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, PowerbyProxi, Royal Philips, Samsung, Sony, TDK, Texas Instruments, Verizon Wireless and ZTE. These companies — large and small competitors and ecosystem partners, from all parts of the industry and all parts of the globe — collaborate for a single purpose: to design and evolve the world’s most useful, safe and efficient standard for wireless power. This global standard is called Qi, and it has become the world’s leading method for transferring electrical power without wires. Qi is designed into 80+ mobile devices, 15 models of cars, has more than 700 registered products that are enjoyed by more than 50 million users worldwide. 

The bookbook

September 8, 2014

IKEA 2015

IKEA shopping bags provide “efficient” storage for 500 year old skeletons

August 10, 2014

It would be just as easy to consecrate an IKEA shopping bag as a shrine or a piece of turf – so I don’t see anything sacrilegious or anything to be much indignant about. This story from The Local:

The Kläckeberga church is using Ikea bags to store the remains of around 80 people who were once buried under the floorboards. The macabre collection, which is almost overflowing from a set of large blue Ikea bags, was found by local woman Kicki Karlén. 
“There were around 80 skeletons,” she told The Local.
Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons – photo The Local

“I was on the team called in to dig out the bones five years ago,” archaeologist Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay told The Local.  
“Our mission was to document and rebury the bones, which may be as much as 500 years old. But the reburial was delayed and I have no idea why. The plan was to rebury them as soon as possible, but that’s up to the church. The county board said they couldn’t leave church ground, and it became complicated.”  
He explained that the bones were likely reburied in a secondary deposition many years ago in what he called a “bone house”. The collection is mostly skulls and longer bones, he added.  
While Papmehl-Dufay denied storing the bones in the Ikea bags himself, he admitted that it sounded like an efficient storage technique.   
“It’s not standard practice, definitely not for archaeologists, but the Ikea bags aren’t actually that bad. They’d be great for stopping the moulding process. But it can’t be that good to have them in the basement for so long.”
But what will future archaeologists and anthropologists make of the bags (which may well survive) when they are rediscovered in a few hundred years time. Possibly of the existence of an IKEA cult (which would not be so far from the truth)? With strange burial rituals?  or perhaps that the Swedish church was a department within IKEA?

IKEA’s flat-pack refugee shelter

July 2, 2013

This is a project by the IKEA Foundation together with the UNHCR. The target is to produce these refugee shelters for less than $1000 each. Each flat-pack includes a solar panel which powers a built-in lamp and a USB outlet. Each shelter takes 4 hours to assemble, would house 5 people and last 3 – 5 years compared to the 6 months of a conventional refugee tent.

The shelter as a flat pack: image via Fast Company

The Ikea refugee shelter designed to provide refugees with better living conditions

The Ikea refugee shelter via


IK leaves IKEA

June 5, 2013

Had to happen of course but he did bring a revolution to household furniture. For me personally IKEA furniture has provided a stable reference point for some 35 years in 5 countries as I have moved around the world and my children have grown up with the “installation” of familiar objects, with odd names from the IKEA flat-packs. IKEA  is an acronym comprising the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up) and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, South Sweden.

Decoding the language of Ikea

Now IK is 87 and is handing over:

Ingvar Kamprad, creator of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, is to take another step back from his company as the youngest of his three sons takes a key board role in a gradual handover of power. 

Kamprad, 87, who founded the business in rural south Sweden 70 years ago, stepped down in 1986 as chief executive of IKEA, which has become the world’s biggest furniture group, famous for its flat packs and do-it-yourself assembly. 

He will now leave the board of a key company within the business – Inter IKEA Group – and his youngest son Mathias will take over as its chairman. 

“I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter IKEA Group,” Kamprad said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to the company which owns the IKEA brand and which collects 3 percent of IKEA stores’ sales worldwide each year.

Shocking! Study claims IKEA is confusing customers into submission!

January 24, 2011

Alan Penn is Professor of Architectural and Urban Computing at The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, and Director of the VR Centre for the Built Environment. He has studied IKEA’s London store and draws the (un)remarkable conclusion that the layout has been cunningly designed – horror of horrors – to get customer’s to buy more.


(I hate that word but cannot find a better one)

The Scotsman reports:

IKEA Wembley store

Study claims Ikea’s ‘maze’ is selling ploy

Professor Alan Penn, director of the Virtual Reality Centre for the Built Environment at University College London, studied the Swedish firm’s north London store and came to the conclusion that their success, in part, is down to confusing their customers into submission by designing their stores like a maze.

Unlike John Lewis stores, which have a grid layout to create an open and accessible environment, Ikea stores require customers to enter and follow a path through the entire store to reach the exit.

“It is so well done and so cunningly done that I have little doubt that it is intentional,” said Penn, whose team has previously studied retail strategies and monitored how consumers respond.
In his study of the Ikea store in Brent, Penn found that the weaving yellow path quickly leaves customers disorientated. It only takes minutes before they have no idea where the exit lies, he found. Although all stores are required to include shortcuts for fire regulations, he said these were always positioned outside the customer’s normal field of vision.
Penn said the only comparable shopping environment he knew of was the Bazaar in Isfahan, a medieval Iranian marketplace. “The way to the exit is always behind you,” he said.

Obviously  John Lewis and other proper UK stores would not stoop to such despicable tactics ! In the words of one of the comments to this article:

I do think it is important for customers to stand up to the evil nordic fascist monsters who run Ikea.

Footnote from the Wall Street Journal:

Swedish furniture giant IKEA, the world’s No. 1 furniture retailer by sales, said Friday it benefited from cash-strapped consumers trading down in a continued challenging economic climate, as it reported higher sales and net profit for fiscal 2010. The company, famous for its low-cost ready-to-assemble furniture, said net profit for the fiscal year to Aug. 31 rose 6.1% to EUR2.7 billion. Revenue rose 7.7% to EUR23.1 billion.

Prices were unchanged in fiscal 2010 although Ohlsson said the company has been able to reduce prices by 2.6% in the current fiscal year and sees the possibility of further prices cuts next fiscal year. IKEA’s improved supply chain is key to maintaining low prices while also bucking the trend of other retailers by boosting margins. Gross margin rose to 46.1% from 44.6% a year earlier.

I wonder who funded this study? A competitor to IKEA? or could it be IKEA?

IKEA is still a privately held company – so I won’t be buying shares after this study – but I would if I could.


The IKEA phenomenon

August 28, 2010

We made our quarterly pilgrimage to our local IKEA store in Linköping yesterday. This past week 3.5 Million Swedish households each received their copy of the 2010/2011 IKEA catalogue – which is an annual event comparable in social significance to a national holiday though perhaps not as important as Midsommar !!

IKEA katalogen 2011

IKEA (Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd) is still a privately held company. Many Swedish households have a sticker on their letterboxes saying “No advertising – thank you” but the variant which is fairly common is “No advertising -thank you but the IKEA catalogue with pleasure”

175 Million copies of the catalog in 27 languages will be distributed in 33 countries this year. Prices in the Swedish catalogue are guaranteed till 11th July next year. IKEA is iconic and ubiquitous of course but I note that my son studying in New York visits the New Jersey store (free bus from Manhattan) just to get his traditional Swedish lunches.


Surprisingly it is Iceland which has the most stores per inhabitant !!

Country Debut No. Stores Population Stores per Million People
Iceland 1981 1 318 006 3,145
Sweden 1958 17 9 354 462 1,817
Cyprus 2007 1 798 045 1,253
Norway 1963 5 4 899 300 1,021
Denmark 1969 5 5 543 819 0,902
Switzerland 1973 7 7 782 900 0,899
Finland 1996 4 5 367 188 0,745
The Netherlands 1978 12 16 609 848 0,722
Austria 1977 6 8 356 707 0,718
Belgium 1984 6 10 827 519 0,554
Germany 1974 45 81 757 600 0,550
France 1981 28 65 447 374 0,428
Hong Kong 1975 3 7 055 071 0,425
Singapore 1978 2 4 987 600 0,401
Czech Republic 1991 4 10 506 813 0,381
Greece 2001 4 11 306 183 0,354
Spain 1980 15 46 030 109 0,326
Canada 1976 11 34 224 000 0,321
United Arab Emirates 1991 2 6 888 888 0,290
United Kingdom 1987 18 62 041 708 0,290
Kuwait 1984 1 3 520 000 0,284
Italy 1989 17 60 380 912 0,282
Portugal 2004 3 11 317 192 0,265
Israel 2001 2 7 602 400 0,263
New Zealand TBA 0 4 390 090 0,228
Ireland 2009 1 4 456 000 0,224
Australia 1975 5 22 439 171 0,223
Poland 1991 8 38 192 000 0,209
Hungary 1990 2 10 005 000 0,200
Slovakia 1992 1 5 379 455 0,186
Taiwan 1994 4 23 119 772 0,173
Serbia 2011 0 7 334 935 0,136
Bulgaria 2011 0 7 563 710 0,132
United States 1985 37 310 101 000 0,119
Saudi Arabia 1983 3 27 136 977 0,111
Dominican Republic 2010 1 10 090 000 0,099
Russia 2000 11 141 927 297 0,078
Turkey 2005 4 72 561 312 0,055
Romania 2007 1 22 215 421 0,045
Japan 1974 5 127 420 000 0,039
Malaysia 1996 1 28 310 000 0,035
Ukraine 2011 0 45 888 000 0,022
Thailand 2011 0 66 404 688 0,015
China 1998 6 1 338 612 968 0,004

%d bloggers like this: