Ingvar as finding a good strategy to do

  Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in Sweden in 1943.
Mr. Kamprad started by selling door-to-door, offering goods from stationeries
to watches, wallets and etc. Through innovation and determination, IKEA
eventually became a success in Sweden and that success led Mr. Kamprad to
expand his company worldwide, opening over three hundred stores around the

  However, IKEA faced much bigger
problems on its expansion to China. IKEA opened up in China through a joint venture
with the purpose of probing the market, establishing local needs as well as
finding a good strategy to do business in a new terrain. Soon enough, IKEA
realized that the strategies they have to come up with would be very different
from the ones that they had previously employed, considering the difference in
lifestyle and culture of different places.

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  For example, people in China
prefer a different style of furniture—mostly western—so IKEA would have to make
some modifications to its designs. Moreover, Chinese apartment sizes also
differ so the furniture built would have to be customized to fit according to
the apartment rooms. The location of IKEA stores also can no longer be in
suburbs like the European IKEA stores. Since the people in China mostly travel
by public transportation, such as trains, it would be a wise suggestion to have
IKEA stores built next to railway networks. Another strategy that IKEA should
change would be the target customers. Normally, IKEA would be targeting mass
markets, but in China, where people see western products as aspirational, it is
best for IKEA to target the younger, middle class citizens who would have a
higher income, a better education as well as knowledge on western style. The
normal “low” prices that IKEA sold its products for in European countries were viewed
as higher than the regular prices in China, so IKEA had to be really careful in
setting the price of its products. I would suggest IKEA try to cut down on the
price of its raw materials in order to lower the prices to fit in more with the
affordable price range. Besides that, other competitors in the Chinese market
made it hard for IKEA to sell its products, considering that the competitors
were using IKEA’s catalogue—one of the best ways IKEA has used to promote its
furniture—to copy the design and sell it at a cheaper price. IKEA’s solution to
that problem would be to promote their furniture through China’s social media
and “Weibo” instead, which proves to be rather effective in promotion. One
other problem IKEA said they faced was that due to most consumers in China
having a tendency of being price-sensitive and that the suppliers don’t have
the necessary technology, the charging of plastic bags and making of green
products would have difficulties in being implemented in China. As such, due to
extra costs necessary should IKEA provide the suppliers with the needed
technology, IKEA backed down from its standards just to stay in the market,
deciding to keep at low prices. Based on careful research, these are the
problems that IKEA had faced when opening its stores in China as well as some
of the suggestions or actions that IKEA has actually done to overcome it. 


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