IKEA is an internationally known home furnishing retailer. It has grown rapidly since it was founded in 1943. Today it is the world's largest furniture retailer, recognized for its Scandinavian style. The majority of IKEA's furniture is flat-pack, ready to be assembled by the consumer. This allows a reduction in costs and packaging.
One of the key competitive advantages IKEA has is its extensive knowledge about the customers. The company understands the purchasing factors that influence customers to buy and implements the best practices to induce that decision and, as a result, has become one of the most loved companies worldwide.
Low prices are the cornerstone of the IKEA business idea and the company always tries to do things as efficiently and cost-effective as possible. To drive costs down all the time, the company must find new and innovative ways to do that and to incorporate them in its business model. The business’ innovations include new materials that contribute more to a sustainable environment and are less costly or using the newest ways of packaging, handling and transporting materials.
According to Millward Brown Optimor's "Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014", not only is IKEA the most valuable furniture retailer brand in the world, it is also the fourth most valuable retailer in the world, valued at nearly 19.4 billion U.S. dollars. The business operates 345 stores and is present in the major world markets. More than 680 million customers visit IKEA stores every year.
Since it was founded IKEA has always had concern for people and the environment. The IKEA vision ‘to create a better everyday life for the many people’ puts this concern at the heart of the business.