7 Things You May Not Know About Ikea

Hey there, readers.
First, let me say: I am so very proud of each and every one of you.
It’s easy to love home decor and interior design, but another thing to be an active listener within the industry. Believe it or not– when you open up our blog, you’re choosing to spend your free time informing yourself on your passion. You’re one clever duck.

As a reward, I figured it’s about time that you get to know some of the writers behind DS2.
…or at least one of them. (What can I say? I’ve always been cheekily friendly.)

My name is Jess. I’m a university graduate and a bonafide plant mom. I’m a nutjob for netflix documentaries, thrift store dress slacks and Dunkin Donuts coffee.
Perhaps more relevantly: I’m your friendly, neighborhood Swiss Army Knife for all things DS2– a title only marginally more important than my role as our token scandi // minimalist aficionado.

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Oh, and I have a thing about IKEA. It’s a problem.
Bad day? Go to IKEA.
Good day? Go to IKEA.
Los Angeles rush hour traffic on the 5?
Pull off in Burbank for free coffee and a lingonberry treat.

You heard me: IKEA offers free coffee.
What? You didn’t know IKEA offers free coffee? Childcare services? A daily, free to enter, $100 lottery in every store?

Well, that gives me an idea:
Keep reading for your *actual* reward for being such a interior design role model:
10 Things You May Not Know About IKEA.

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1.  Their rewards program is DOPE.

It’s free to join the Ikea Family Rewards program, and the company really does try to make their members feel “at home” in their stores. Ikea Family members can stop by the cafe for free coffee and tea, enjoy free (members only) wifi throughout the store, and leisurely stroll for an extra 30 minutes of bonus childcare service time.

However, the perks aren’t just in-store comforts. Ikea Family can take advantage of retroactive price matching within 90 days of a price drop– so if a product goes on sale post-purchase, you can be refunded the difference. They also offer additional discounts and events for their loyal rewards members, from free shopping tote days to DIY kid’s crafting sessions.

Not to mention, every Ikea location hosts a monthly $100 lottery that can be entered each day you swipe your card at the entry kiosks. You can sign up for the rewards program here.
May the odds be ever in your fåvor.

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2. Ikea provides several solutions for those intimidated by “assembly required” labels.

Anyone who has bought something from Ikea is familiar with the customer assembly stage which occurs once you bring your product home. It has even become a bit of an internet meme: with people posting captioned images of thier Ikea fails.
Well, Ikea has done something about it.

  • Want someone to assemble it for you? 
  •  You lost  The dog ate the instructions? 
  • Getting frustrated, but still want to prove that you will NOT be bested by a mass-produced pile of pressboard and screws?
       Ikea USA’s youtube page features several tutorial videos to walk you through the assembly of some of thier most popular items.



3. There’s more to the Swedish product names than tight branding and exoticism.

According to a recent report, the founder of Ikea was troubled by a potent dyslexia which made remembering product names difficult. His solution? All Ikea products are labeled with a categorizing name, which can provide an inside tip to the type of stock in question.

If the product named after a place in Sweden (ex: Klippan, Malmö), employees would know it was a sofa, coffee table, bookshelf or other living room piece.
Beds, wardrobes and hall furniture are named after Norwegian locales.
Denmark? Its most likely a carpet.

Though, the categories aren’t just geographical locations– bookcases are mainly occupations (the “Bonde”, referring to a peasant farmer; or the “Styrman”, which is a helmsman). Bathroom product names translate to bodies of water… and the list goes on.
Clever, right?

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4. They were the first company to air a commercial featuring a homosexual couple.

…and it wasn’t just a subtle nod. The 1994 advertisement entailed a 30-second testimonial where two men explained how they met and delved into the romantic intricacies of purchasing furniture together. Check it out:


5. Just because it’s Ikea, doesn’t mean it has to be generic.

An entire sub-community known as the Ikea Hackers has formed around up-cycling Ikea wares to become more uniquely styled or functionally endowed. Their page has accumulated over 5,000 Ikea-related DIY’s for the handy-yet-thrifty home decorator– from floating Billy bookcases to cheese-grater pendant lamps. They’ve even published a book of useful “Ikea hacks” for the casual shopper to try and the online archive is always taking new submissions.

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6. They pride themselves in passing company savings on to their customers with a unique economic system.

Very few companies can boast prices which have continually decreased since 2000.
How do they do it? Ikea has an impeccable knack for selling via survival of the fittest. Pieces which do well year after year are redesigned ever so slightly with each passing season to make their production cheaper and cheaper. Meanwhile, newer products may start at a higher price– and have to earn those streamlining rights.

A good example of this price/product-shifting is the tried-and-true Lack table. The piece sells today for $9.99, whereas in the 1980’s, it sold for $25– which is $59 if you adjust for inflation. Similar stories exist for Billy bookcases and other IKEA staple-pieces. The graph below tracks the price of the Poäng armchair– which IKEA continues to sell 1.5 million of every year.
Read more here .

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7. Just last month, their founder passed away the age of 91.

Ingvar Kamprad of Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd was born in the Swedish province of Småland in March of 1921. These humble roots not only provided him the namesakes within the company and it’s associated child’s playland, but also the frugal work ethics which propelled him into economic success.

By the age of 6, the young Kamprand already had his first sales job, selling pencils and matches about his neighborhood. A mere 11 years later, he finished school and began the mail-order home goods company that would quickly grow into the world’s largest furnishings retailer.

Up until his passing, he was known for waking up early, traveling business class and driving an old Volvo– despite being consistently listed as one of the richest men in the world.

“I see my task as serving the majority of people,” he told Forbes in 2000. “The question is, how do you find out what they want, how best to serve them? My answer is to stay close to ordinary people, because at heart I am one of them.”

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