Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ikea and Germany

Ikea is one of these odd companies with a successful trend, and generally expanding across the globe.  In Germany, presently there are forty-six Ikea stores.

Most Americans....unless you live in the DC or Philly.....have no idea or concept of Ikea.

My description of the store?  It's a furniture store....tied to a modern mentality of design....continually revamping their offerings....and offering mostly put-together furniture.  Germans will offer varying description or critiques of the operation....ranging from dislike of the put-together furniture to obsessive customer behavior to all things Ikea.

I will offer the following observations.

First, Germans tend to utilize the Ikea concept because a large segment of German society are apartment dwellers, with limited space, and a limited lifespan of apartment rental.  If a German moves into an apartment house....it'll tend to range from five to fifteen years, so acceptance of put-together furniture is higher than you'd normally see.

Second, Germans tend to recognize tight-fitting apartments as a challenge, but Ikea specializes in gear that seems to fit that situation.  While an American would be looking hard to find a ninety-square-meter place (roughly a thousand square feet).....a German might be very accepting of fifty square meters (roughly 540 square feet) of apartment space.  The issue to be resolved is how you adequately fill a smaller area and make it feel comfy.

Third and final.  Ikea has a knack for redoing their catalog and offering newer appealing gear every single year.  This week, I received my new Ikea catalog.  I admit....maybe once a year....I might walk though an Ikea store and maybe fifty percent of the time....I'll walk out with something.  But I'll admit that I'd never buy a chair via the shop because it's all of a cheaper variety and not the type to last more than five years.  The draw for me?  They are continually redrawing furniture.....making something that fits into an odd corner....a hanging cabinet that fits easily into a bathroom....or bar chair that is rather unique.

So, if you hang around Germany enough....you will eventually visit an Ikea and discover these positives.  

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