It is believed that the apartment every Western European families have at least one thing with the IKEA logo. This is not necessarily the furniture. Is there any accessories, toys, clothes - anything from IKEA. Even if you do essentially nothing to buy in the shops, something necessarily inherited from relatives or got into the apartment as a gift.
At the time, IKEA spread across Europe called the epidemic. With the opening of the first stores in Russia, IKEA and the epidemic has captured our country. IKEA love for democratic originality (discovery company in the field of design are recognized as outstanding by all design schools in the world) and is infamous for mass, universality (which is not the same everywhere you look lamps and sofas). Global brand in all its contradiction. Founder, 80-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, created it with 20 years. IKEA began sales coffee tables, and now it is the largest furniture company in the world ..
Ingvar Kamprad (Ingvar Kamprad) was born in the small Swedish town of Älmhult (now it is a real tourist Mecca: thousands of people come there to look at the home of billionaire; there is also the first store Kamprad) in 1926 year. Kamprad's biographers believe that passion was transmitted to trade Ingvar inheritance. In 1897 the firm, which is owned by the grandfather of the future billionaire was on the verge of bankruptcy. The head of the family was unable to pay the mortgage and committed suicide. But grandmother Ingvar manages to save the business.
Kamprad himself began to make money by selling matches. Here's how he himself recalls his childhood activity: “My aunt helped me buy the first hundred boxes of matches on the so-called 88 era sale (something like our“ Everything on 10 ”- ed.), And the aunt didn’t even charged me for postage. After that, I sold matches for the price of two or three eras per box, and some even for the 5 era. I still remember the pleasant feeling that I experienced, having received my first profit. At that time I was no more than five years old. Later, I started selling Christmas cards and wall pictures. I fished and then rode a bicycle and sold it around. I collected the lingonberries and the bus sent it to the buyer in another city. At eleven, my main business was selling seeds. It was my first big deal, and I earned enough money to change my old bike to a new racing model. ” But the most in demand were pens: in the early forties, they were new even in Sweden. Kamprad wrote 500 of such pens from Paris, taking a loan in 500 crowns for a purchase in the county bank (for those times 63 dollars). According to Kamprad, this was the first and last loan he took in his life. Fashionable product supplied by a French company. She then demanded that their distributor register their own business. Kamprad persuaded his father to assist him in the design of papers, and IKEA was soon born (Ingvard Kamprad, Elmtaryud in Agunaruid) - the first letters of the name and surname, the name of his father’s farm and the parish where the head of the future corporation grew. This happened in 1943 year. At that time, its creator was 17 years. At this time, Kamprad had already dismounted from the bicycle and switched to the distribution of goods by mail. And he added the most unpretentious trifle to pens and matches, such as stationery, wallets, nylon stockings and mosquito repellents.
The first entrepreneurial IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad steps, his early, as he calls it, "desire for profit" - seems to be one of the most important success of the subjective conditions. Striving to earnings at the genetic level. Swedish billionaire has never studied at university (school teachers for a long time could not teach him how to read), but business strategy that he used in the IKEA, studying in many institutions of higher education in Europe.
Finally, in 1948, Kamprad comes up with the idea of switching to furniture. Kamprad negotiates with small furniture manufacturers and starts selling two models - an armchair without armrests and a coffee table. Armchair Kamprad called "Ruth" (he always believed that remembering the name of inventory items is difficult). Since then, IKEA is usually given furniture names. At the same time, several more Kamprad business principles were born. First, he began to send out a small brochure to his customers, which was called "IKEA News" - it became the prototype of the famous catalog of the company. Secondly, the young entrepreneur immediately began to focus on buyers with an average income. Therefore, he orders the most inexpensive models in the neighboring furniture factories. Even then he came to his famous formula: "How to sell 60 chairs at a high price, it is better to reduce the price and sell 600 chairs."
In 1951, Kamprad acquired an old factory, where he began to produce cheap simple furniture. Gradually, his company, thanks to democratic prices, gained fame in Sweden. However, such a trade policy led to a boycott, which was announced at the end of 50-ies by the Swedish National Association of Furniture Sellers, who was indignant at the low prices for IKEA products. Under the pressure of the association, cooperation with Kamprad was denied by the leading logging companies. As a result, the entrepreneur had to make an unusual step at that time for the Swedish business: he began to acquire a part of the components necessary for the assembly of furniture, "cheap" from Polish suppliers. So the founder of IKEA laid the company's future strategy - to place orders for goods in those countries where it costs less.
In the early 60-x Kamprad I made a day trip to America. There he first saw shops selling at Cash & Carry system. He liked the trading scheme: great stores are located outside the city limits, and customers service themselves - stacked goods in a cart and driven to his car.
When IKEA opened in 1963 a large store near Stockholm, there was a lot going on, taking into account the American experience, however, creatively reworked. Firstly, it was a suburb: the prices for land there are much lower, and there is a place for car parking. Secondly, in order to reduce transportation costs, the company ordered collapsible furniture, where each part was placed in a flat package. So it was easier and cheaper to transport them. Collect the same furniture should have been the buyers themselves. Kamprad has long noticed that people actually like to collect cabinets and sofas on their own. Especially if you make the assembly procedure simple thanks to detailed instructions.
In 1969, the company opened a store in Denmark and built a distribution center in Elmhult. The last step from the point of view of common sense is not indisputable. Where there are so many customers in the outback? But Ingvar knew that a car boom had begun in Sweden. And I realized that for serious purchases people are ready to go even at the far end of the earth. To encourage customers in the store IKEA began to sell roof racks on the roof of cars. Of course, at a bargain price. Thanks to this policy, the company's turnover doubled in one year. The store itself, called Kungens Kurva, resembled in appearance the New York Guggenheim Museum, which very much liked Kamprad. During the grand opening of the store, a huge scandal nearly burst out. Nobody expected that on the very first day so many people would come. Thirty thousand Swedes certainly wanted to buy themselves a situation at low prices. In the store, although so large, there was not so much merchandise. And the crowd, sweeping away everything in its path, somewhat contradicted the principle advocated by IKEA. Here it was accepted a leisurely discussion of what kind of shelves would suit a soft chair, a cup of delicious coffee.
Kamprad took the only true decision in this situation - to run customers to the warehouse. So IKEA inadvertently came to its "crown" formula: store-warehouse. It was with Kungens Kurva that the style of the company's work was determined definitively and permanently. Now every IKEA furniture store is a kind of exhibition center. Where are shown not only sofas and cabinets, but also any small things of life: tablecloths, curtains, bedspreads, towels and candlesticks. And all this is placed as it should be in real life. Thus, a store visitor can view ten children's rooms in a row, then twenty-five dining rooms or living rooms and so on. Estimating how this or that model looks in a real interior, and choosing the right one, the buyer should go to her warehouse. In convenient packages, he transports the furniture unit to his home and there he collects it himself, reading clear and sensible instructions.
After such success at home, IKEA had no choice but to master foreign markets. Decisions were made spontaneously. For example, the head of the company for a long time hesitated: to open a store in Switzerland? The country was known for its conservative tastes, plus two well-established local chains of furniture stores. But once Kamprad, walking through Zurich, overheard the conversation of a young couple. "A beautiful chair!" Said the young woman, looking at the window. "But for us it is not afforded. Let's buy it next year, "her husband replied. This episode decided the whole thing. And soon IKEA appeared in Switzerland (in 1973 year). And then and in Germany, Austria, Great Britain, the USA. In fact, apart from Africa and Asia, now IKEA is present everywhere, including in China. But most of the sales it provides is the European market.
In 1976 was started development of the New World - IKEA store appeared in Canada. In 1981, the company opened its first store in Paris. Now in France 10 IKEA stores, and it is ahead of Sweden in terms of sales share. True, a cheap Swedish furniture in France peculiar reputation. French apologizing to the guests: "We bought the furniture in IKEA - we have now money is tight."
Since the beginning of 90-x company is active in Eastern Europe. In Russia, the Swedes came at the invitation of Nikolai Ryzhkov. Being 1990 in Sweden for an official visit, the then chairman of the Soviet government hoped that IKEA has purchased products from the Russian furniture manufacturers. Representatives of the company visited the then Soviet country and have decided that it is a sensible idea. Today, the company operates approximately 30 Russian factories scattered across the country.
conduct IKEA Business Principles
The concept of IKEA business was formed almost ten years, from the end of the fifties to the end of the sixties of the last century. All this time, the founder of Ingvar Kamprad turned the difficulties that IKEA faced into its advantages. For example, we were the first to place our orders abroad. What for? It so happened that in the sixties all Swedish furniture manufacturers announced a boycott to Kamprad. He was literally hated for selling couches and armchairs at the lowest prices in the country. To get out of this situation, we had to produce furniture in Poland. It turned out that it is much cheaper and more efficient than doing the same in Sweden. The prices in IKEA became even lower.
There were difficulties with delivery. Traditionally, furniture was collected directly in factories, and while it was being taken to the buyer, it often broke down: legs fell off, glass doors broke, the surface was scratched. In order not to lose money on this, Kamprad decided to sell the furniture in disassembled form. This again led to savings and allowed even lower prices. Another example. In Europe in the middle of the last century, furniture was sold only in small shops-salons. But because of the cheapness, too many people started coming to us, and we could not cope. I had to build a big store outside the city. There, we could serve more customers and save on renting land. As soon as the first large country store opened, it turned out that it was very profitable. (Anders Dalvig, CEO of IKEA). The Swedish company offered the buyer a holistic concept of housing arrangement (furniture and all kinds of accessories plus design tips), and this idea turned out to be a genius.
In addition, the large suburban stores with furniture sold all that is needed to create a high-grade interior: flowers in pots, picture frames, dishes, candles, chandeliers, curtains, bed linen and children's toys. When the UK government recommended IKEA to open a small "case" stores in urban areas, rather than to build a giant suburban hangars, in response sounded indignant: "That will never be! "Everything under one roof" - our sacred concept. "
All IKEA stores in Sweden is painted in yellow and blue colors to highlight the "Swedishness" of the company. About ethnicity speaks and style goods - the range is the same everywhere. Near the banks in all of the company's stores are located non-core departments for IKEA directions: they sell the Swedish national food.
Inattention to the peculiarities, habits and tastes of the local consumer sometimes leads to curiosities. In the first IKEA store in the US, opened in 1976, the demand for medium-sized vases exceeded the pace of supply. It turned out that the Americans bought them up because the mugs and glasses offered in IKEA were not large enough by American standards. Now IKEA has specialists who study regional specifics by visiting consumers' homes. It turned out that Americans prefer to keep their clothes in a folded form, and Italians - on hangers; The Spaniards, unlike the Scandinavians, adore decorating the house with pictures within the framework, prefer bright colors in the interior, like large dining tables and wide sofas. "It's easy to forget about the reality in which people live," says Mats Nilsson, design director.
In one study Harvard Business School argues that IKEA skillfully forces, unobtrusively forcing the buyer to spend more time in her stores (respectively, the amounts left there are growing). This is also supported by the planning decision of the trading halls - it's easy to enter the complex - to go out for a long time. IKEA turns ordinary shopping into a pleasant pastime. Children can be left on the playground, exquisite exposition inspires and stimulates the buyer, wide passages exclude a crush. Rest and refresh yourself in cozy cafes, offering various bonuses and unique Swedish meatballs. It is also important that sellers do not attack customers like vultures, so they can relax, look around. If necessary, to find a consultant in a bright yellow-blue uniform is not difficult. "Soft compulsion" IKEA reaches its apogee in the ability to anticipate those consumer needs that he does not suspect. The main thing is to "untwist" a new fetish, and it will bring money. For example, the company has produced a metal clothespin of medium size with a rubber ring - so you can hang the magazine on the hook for towels. It is not known whether many customers were tormented trying to read the magazine in the bathroom, but a modest clothespin quickly became a hit of sales. There were two factors that contributed to this: visibility (neatly hung clothespins with magazines in the exposition bathroom act magically, convincing you to buy), and also the price (clothespins are so cheap that they can be bought just "just in case"). Such goods in IKEA are unofficially called "hot dogs" - they are cheaper than sausages in the cafeteria.
On belief of Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA prices should capture the spirit. The company does not hesitate to claim that its price - is the price of competitors, divided by two. There is also a "second-tier strategy": if a competitor launches cheaper similar products, IKEA immediately develop the next version of the product at a price "below nowhere."
"Creating beautiful and expensive things is easy, but try to create a beautiful functional thing that will cost cheaply", - Josephine Rydberg-Dumont voices the company's price philosophy. Developing the next product, IKEA first establishes a border, which should not be raised above the price, and then the designers (more than 90) puzzle over how to fit into this framework. No product will be put into production, if there is no way to make it affordable. The creation of products is delayed sometimes for several years. For example, the creation of a dining table PS Ellan ($ 39,99) on flexible but stable legs took more than one and a half years, during which time it was possible to invent an inexpensive material (a mixture of rubber and wood sawdust), to achieve the desired properties.
The international success of IKEA also seems to be that the middle class in most countries of the world is more or less identical. If not in income, then in views on life and ideas about the style. The system-forming style of IKEA is functionality, simplicity, ingenuity and declared individuality. According to the company, the main idea promoted by this style lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of people, in principle, have everything necessary for happiness - only they forget about it or do not pay attention. And to bring them to this simple conclusion, you need very little - to suggest changing the situation in the kitchen, to establish a convenient shelving in the office or to acquire some amusing trifle that will revitalize the interior of the living room. This is what IKEA's "HISTORICAL OPTIMISM" preaches, which is the basis of the company's marketing strategy.
In particular, IKEA basically refuse to divide things into beautiful and ugly. In the style design of the home can be included very different, sometimes the most elementary, unpretentious and unexpected objects and materials - from great-grandmother's boxes to supermodern lamps, and the degree of their aesthetics depends on a whole range of conditions that form a specific human habitat. Therefore, the company's products are shown usually in specific interiors: the reception is practically a win-win situation, because a completely unattractive at first sight and absolutely unnecessary object to the buyer often attracts his attention precisely at the expense of the surrounding situation and forces himself to purchase.
The consumer reputation of IKEA, like any other global brand, is contradictory. For example, the company has long been deservedly blamed for the imposed standardization of the situation - there is no question of any individuality that the company likes to talk about. Many, of course, it's annoying. In the company, however, enough self-irony to joke on this topic. Before opening a store in a new country in the company always conduct a small study. Ask if the buyers like their furniture. And always get the same result - IKEA furniture absolutely nobody likes. So it was in Italy, and in Germany, and in Russia, and in other countries. In the company get acquainted with these results and open a store. As soon as it opens, a boom begins.
In general, IKEA recognizes that the company has room to move. The companies argue in this way: a person buys furniture not only themselves, but also their neighbors. Himself he chooses a cheap and functional furniture from IKEA. It puts it in bedrooms, kitchens and children's rooms. There, where he spends most of his time, and wherever pending let outsiders. But in the living room to inflate the cheek in front of the neighbors, bought a headset made of mahogany and leather sofas. We have won a kitchen and a bedroom, they say in the IKEA, our task is now to win our customers' living rooms.
The phenomenal success of IKEA is inextricably linked to the personality of its founder. Some even argue that the IKEA is held exclusively by Kamprad and the dedicated "old guard," the carriers of IKEA culture. And although his adult children take part in the management, without the main "pastor" the company will lose its charm. It seems that Kamprad himself is aware of this, because he so carefully creates a cult of traditions, tying IKEA to the notorious roots. Kamprad went the ninth decade, he officially withdrew from business, but still takes an active part in the activities of IKEA. "Pope Ingvar" is present at the opening, inspects the operating stores, being interested in everything from organizing the trade to the cost of lunch for employees.
Kamprad easy to communicate, love suddenly appear among employees, exchange a few words, and then arrange a lecture, which usually listen with bated breath. This person manages to transmit his listeners burning. According to Christopher Bartlett, Professor of Harvard Business School, «when he says Kamprad, electrified all around."
He is a workaholic. He worked from morning to evening in both young and mature years. Even today, being a man of retirement age for ten years now, and - in part - stepping aside from business, he keeps the growing empire under strict and vigilant control. Constantly driving from Lausanne to Sweden and other countries of the world, Kamprad inspects one by one about 20 department stores a year. However, such inspections are perceived by employees of department stores rather with joy than with fear. "Pope Ingvar", a mean, but caring, "IKEA family," as Kamprad calls his huge staff, in general likes. He is keenly interested in everything - from the cost of lunch in the canteen to the staff to the organization of labor personnel in each work site. As a good leader, he knows that "cadres decide everything."
Being primarily a businessman, and then his father, he was "excommunicated" from the throne of his three sons. Each of them works at IKEA concern, everyone will get a huge jackpot of his father's legacy. But the leadership of his Empire Kamprad does not admit them. "The three of concern can not lead - he explains. - After giving the preference to one, I will destroy their offspring internecine struggle sons. " This certainty - on the verge of violence - in some decisions taken by Kamprad, causing some comparisons with the sect. Sect IKEA, in which everyone is subject to the will of his father and patron.
IKEA - problems, rumors, gossip, reputation
Not everything is perfect in the saga of IKEA. Critics grumble about the imperfection of service, queues and crush, and incomprehensible assembly instructions and sometimes missing screws and nuts are called blatant mockery of the buyer. There are also those who contemptuously call IKEA's mass design "consumer goods", in which the individuality is lost. More "toothy" critics say that IKEA has an aggressive business style, that the company presses on suppliers, forcing them to change the product line, "pacifies" the disobedient ... The company is criticized for the quality of individual products, accuses all defenders of plantations for all deadly sins. But, according to buyers' feedback, IKEA remains a symbol of global unity, a sweet word for millions of its fans, no matter what critics say.
During the existence of the group, his reputation is threatened repeatedly. In the mid-80's great scandal, associated with the use of products in the company of poisonous substances - formaldehyde. For the first time the company managed to get out of the situation is quite unusual way: IKEA has allocated about 3 million dollars on research GREENPEACE program.. After that, similar scandals took place until the end of 90-x, but serious damage they have caused to the image of the company, due to the already described know-how in communication with environmentalists.
IKEA: Economy must be economical
There are legends about the crookedness of Kamprad. When he goes on business trips - and he often has to travel - he lives in a three-star hotel, and at breakfast (if he is included in the cost of living) he eats up to the dump, so that later he does not have to open the purse until the evening. When you have to pay for food out of your pocket, then our millionaire goes to second-rate restaurants, not shying off to dunk the worm with a hamburger. He never rides a taxi unless it is absolutely necessary. In public transport, he says, it's much cheaper to travel, and there is an opportunity to communicate with the people whose tastes and needs a good businessman needs to know. Going on business, orders tickets only in the second class, and numerous photos of Kamprad show that he dresses cheaply and often sloppy (which a real billionaire can afford). "At my age, it's silly to throw money at me," Ingvar explains to journalists who have been harassing for decades, what explains his greed, and advises to get acquainted with his eldest son Peter, who stole his father's belt with his stinginess.
"How can I claim thrift from people who work for me if I spend time in luxury and comfort" Ingvar Kamprad.
Tough economy principles apply in the corporation. The IKEA support prices through well-constructed strategy. His Swedish furniture company orders only where it is produced cheaply. 10% of its ten thousandth range the company produces itself, else buys. And literally buys parts: tabletops - in one country, table legs - in the other. This is done in order to reduce the cost.
Ultimate economy everywhere and in everything is the general strategic line of the company from the first days and throughout its existence. Savings begin with the development of models for future branded products, which IKEA designers are in direct contact with manufacturers - in order to avoid multiple adjustments. It continues as the suppliers search for the most suitable for the ratio of cost and quality options for raw materials and their wholesale purchase for the entire planned for release batch, includes all the processes of manufacturing products - almost always serial and streamlined, with maximum optimization and automation of technological operations. Finally, it is completed already in IKEA stores, where the practice of "self-service warehouses" is widespread, from which buyers themselves take away the furniture dismantled and packed into flat boxes.
Sam Ingvar Kamprad in an interview disclosed the pricing policy in IKEA. Take a family with an average and below average income. It is counted how much she is able to spend on arranging the house and on each pillow or floor lamp separately. Thus, the optimal value of each object is recognized. Further, the company's specialists create its technical description and see which supplier will be able to ensure its quality implementation within the budget. Sometimes the company managers help the manufacturer to master the new technology. Maybe today such a technique does not surprise anyone, but when IKEA started it seemed like a revolution.
IKEA in a sense, is also a symbol of economic stability. Approved and published in the seasonal prices of goods did not change the directory for the year. The only thing that they can change - discount in the framework of regular sales, which holds the company.
Economy is an element of the company's business strategy and the main quality of its founder. With the blessing of Ingvar Kamprad, the notion of luxury in IKEA is missing. Top managers fly to economy class business meetings and stay in inexpensive hotels. Sam Kamprad drinks expensive drinks from the hotel mini-bar, if only later can replace them with cheaper ones bought in the nearest supermarket. The billionaire allegedly does not disregard magazine coupons for free parking and often uses public transport. It's no surprise that employees of the company act as free models during the filming of the annual IKEA catalog.
Founder affects surrounding external modesty and teaches: "Money corrupts. They should be used as resources for investment, rather than as a means of satisfying the whims ". In 2006 the Swedish press called Kamprad richest man in the world, has outdone himself Bill Іeytsa, however it complicated IKEA property system can not accurately calculate the assets of a Swedish businessman, because the sensation is not documented.
The economy of Kamprad is not coquetry, flirtation with the people - they say, I'm no better than you. This life credo and at the same time - part of the philosophy of IKEA. "Each crown is a crown," - he likes to sentence Kamprad, that is, "he keeps a penny a ruble". In his opinion, many of the techniques of designers - modern and modern - make furniture more expensive and, therefore, inaccessible to a wide consumer. That's why IKEA designers should have an idea about the whole chain of furniture production - from the idea to delivering the finished product to the store and from there - to the buyer. This helps the designer understand the pricing process, and prices, in turn, should be as low as possible. That is why IKEA furniture is sold in the form of semi-finished products, which are mounted by buyers at home. This reduces the cost of warehousing and transportation. For the sake of all the same savings, design centers serve all markets of IKEA. Orders for the production of furniture are placed around the world - where cheaper.
«IKEA business philosophy is determined by one golden rule: Treat every problem as a new opportunity. Problems give great odds. When we were forbidden to buy the same furniture that was made for the other, we started coming up with your own design, and we have a style. When we lost the providers in their own country, we have opened the rest of the world "- says Kamprad ..
According to Ingvar Kamprad any business should keep in touch with their roots. Therefore, each employee of thousands scattered throughout the world "family» IKEA knows by heart the saga of the birth of the company. Its headquarters is not located in the trendy Stockholm, and in the village of Älmhult, where in 1953, the first furniture pavilion was opened. There is a museum where you can learn about the milestones in its business path. For IKEA historical heritage - an integral component of the success of the corporate culture and business philosophy, which brought up a generation of managers and ordinary employees.
Researchers argue that collectives and companies driven by a great idea are more productive, even if their ultimate goal is to earn money. IKEA was initially guided by the high idea contained in the slogan "Better Life for Many". Ingvar Kamprad wanted people all over the world to be able to buy beautiful furniture and interior items, and this aspiration turned into a mission. The British magazine Icon wrote: "If it were not for IKEA, for most people modern design in the house would be unavailable." Kamprada himself called the Icon "the man who had the most powerful influence on the tastes of consumers."
The further existence of IKEA can not be called cloudless: the aging population of developed countries does not feel the necessary enthusiasm for "simple and modern" design, competitors with similar products are actively advancing in the market: Italian Argos, Danish Ilva. In addition, traditional shopping is threatened by the boom of online shopping. However, this IKEA is not afraid: its stores offer the buyer irreplaceable visual and tactile sensations and a real pleasure from spending time. The remaining "threats" IKEA contrasts an unprecedented emotional response in the hearts of millions of buyers around the world ....