IKEA - Taking the Customization Route?*



Case Code : CLCB021
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Consumer Behavior
Industry : -
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

IKEA, Scandinavian culture, Log sawing ceremony, Kurs, Volvo, Swedish breakfast, Goran Carstedt, Anders Moberg, self-service and self-assembly


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The caselet, IKEA: Taking the Customization Route, deals with the challenges faced by IKEA, a furniture retailer, while entering into a number of markets around the globe. IKEA had strong reservations in customizing its product offerings to suit the tastes of local markets. The company initially refused to make major changes in its products when it entered the US market. However, when it faced consumer indifference, it decided to customize some of its offerings to suit the needs of the US market. The caselet also gives inputs on how IKEA operated in other markets.


How an organization tries to maintain a balance between standardization and customization of its product offerings
The challenges faced by a company while getting into a new market
The ways in which a company customizes its offerings to attract the target market


IKEA, a Swedish company founded in 1943, was known for selling inexpensive, well-designed, self-assembled furniture to the masses. The company was also known for following Scandinavian culture and business practices wherever it expanded.

As the company sold furniture of similar sizes and shapes around the globe, it had a maximum two percent variation in the range it stocked in its stores...

Questions for Discussion:
1. How did the company customize its product offerings with the consumer attitudes prevalent in the US?

2. How did IKEA manage to have a standardized product offering across the globe while customizing its offering to suit the local tastes?