Ikea: Plan to enchantment to high-end consumers uncovered – ‘Could be our greatest mistake’ 

Ikea announced yesterday that it’s going to reopen shops throughout the UK subsequent week, implementing social distancing measures, proscribing the variety of prospects and putting screens on checkouts. Founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea has been the world’s largest furnishings retailer since 2008, due to its progressive concepts which could be bought at a low worth in retailer and assembled at residence. But, it was revealed throughout the BBC’s ‘Flatpack Empire’ how the corporate took a raffle in 2017 in a bid to enchantment to extra high-end consumers when it started collaborating with new companions.

The narrator mentioned in 2018: “In an try to usher in new prospects, Marcus Engman (former head of design) has began collaborating with quite a lot of huge names from exterior the corporate.

“They are working with audio giants Sonos to focus on tech fanatics and with Virgil Abloh who designed Nike’s highest-profile coach of 2017 to usher in the Millennials.

“This yr, they’re working with British designer Tom Dixon to focus on the high-end market.

“Working with Tom means Ikea received’t be in full management of the design course of, Ikea hopes the collaboration will appeal to prospects who’d prefer to personal one in every of his merchandise however can’t afford one.”

Mr Dixon is a self-taught British designer who notoriously sells a restricted inventory at a excessive worth, compared to Ikea which sells massive shares at low costs, however the firm hoped he would give their portfolio a brand new dimension.

Speaking on the identical documentary, Mr Dixon mentioned: “My first thought was that I needed to go from the cradle to the grave, so a cot and a coffin and I approached Ikea with the thought they usually simply mentioned ‘no, you’re joking?’

“But, within the dialog that adopted, we struck on the thought of engaged on a mattress, as a result of that’s the main unit of life or residing.

“It’s not a settee mattress, it’s a mattress couch, but it surely’s actually a platform for residing, working and sleeping, it’s a brand new mind-set about furnishings as extra everlasting and extra adaptable.

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“But working with a maverick like Tom is a leap into the unknown.”

Mr Engman admitted that the undertaking was a danger, however hoped it might be profitable.

He mentioned: “It’s a reasonably difficult undertaking and it’s a method of setting up a settee that we’ve by no means accomplished earlier than.

“It’s necessary to the world although (to have new concepts) and we wish to make the world a greater place.

“Let’s see, it might be one in every of our best errors, or it might be a extremely good factor.”

Later that yr, the corporate revealed the outcomes of their collaboration throughout Milan Design Week – a modular mattress known as ‘Delaktig’ that “explores notions of adaptability and future-proofing”.

Following the success of the primary iteration, Mr Dixon and Ikea have teamed as much as make extra furnishings for the gathering, together with lights, bed-side tables and chairs.

In 2018, the pair additionally teamed as much as launch an city farming undertaking to encourage city-dwellers to develop meals regionally.

Mr Dixon and the homeware model are creating a sequence of gardening merchandise and instruments that can be utilized by people in cities to develop their very own meals and medicinal crops at residence, out there in IKEA shops globally in 2021.

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