Company Snapshot: Why Ikea Is a Destination
IKEA North America
420 Alan Wood Rd.
Conshohocken, PA 19428
1943- Entered the USA in 1985 (nine years after the company’s first opening in Canada)
$6,311,340,000 (North America)
Peter Agnefjäll- President and CEO
IKEA is far more than an iconic international retailer. The enigmatic company sources its products in over 50 countries and carefully controls its supply chain with an unflappable commitment to sustainability and the health of the planet. IKEA, more than simply aspiring to be green, is one of the most heavily invested in its commitment to being one of the greenest retailers on the planet.
Two years ago IKEA announced a comprehensive plan to become energy and resource independent by the year 2020. The company is well on its way to this goal and is determined not to allow even a resurgence of an economically smothering recession to interfere with this goal.
Focused on sustainability on virtually every front possible, the company purposefully plans many of its offerings to require assembly by the consumer. IKEA views this as a manner of minimizing shipping costs, including significantly reduced wastes in packaging. The company then boasts offerings at prices which continue to draw consumers from considerable distances to its locations, while constantly seeking to further reduce prices in order to enhance its quality/value reputation.
IKEA has managed to promote its immense locations as destinations. Recently, the company opened its 51st North American location in Miami (its second store in the area), followed shortly by its latest opening in the Kansas City area. 48 hours prior to the official opening in the KC market, a line began to form. Most customers came equipped with portable beach chairs or loungers. They are willing to endure the wait as they anticipate gaining typical IKEA grand opening gifts. The first 40 people to queue received free sofas, the next 100 took home armchairs. The next 2,500 people received IKEA gift cards, ranging from $250 down to $10.
The first 40 people to enter the store on the second day received queen sized mattresses. The first 40 entrants on the third day coupons for a 15-piece meatball plate once a month for the next year.
The enormity of the grand opening forced IKEA to work with local authorities to create a traffic plan which could efficiently handle the plethora of shoppers. This included converting sizeable streets to one-way. IKEA even offered offsite parking with a free shuttle to accommodate the volume of expected shoppers.
A month earlier, at an opening in Miami, IKEA braced for an invasion of foodies. This likely reflected the location’s 600 seat restaurant serving Ikea’s world famous Swedish meatballs and other specialties.
In addition to promoting quality furniture at value pricing, IKEA is not shy about offering its attractively priced meals as a lure to its stores. Recently, the company website offered a free ‘410 calorie’ breakfast as one of its Monday specials. Each of these distinct features combine to add to the attraction of IKEA stores as a destination worth even a considerable commute.