Reasons to love IKEA

I tell you what, I have heard many people in Brazil asking the same questions: when on earth will Ikea come to Brazil?IKEA, please, come to Brazil. There are plenty of theories about this question on the Internet. The truth is that IKEA didn’t reach South America yet.

I don’t know the reason they are not in my country yet, but I can give some other many reasons to love this Swedish quirky business. And We have plenty of IKEAs in the UK, anyway.

My first visit to IKEA was back in 2006, in Birmingham (well Wednesbury) and I have vague memories of it, to be honest. I never heard about this retail shop before, but the idea of visiting a massive store with everything you need (ish) to your home got my heart quite straight away. I can’t deny it.

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That visit was a flying by one. I hadn`t too money to spend on it that time and it was more like a “tourist” because we don`t have IKEA in Brazil.

I remember coming back home with some Japanese shaped lamp made of paper. It was peculiar and cheap at the same time. And I loved the funny names Ikea can give to those objects and that was enough reason to buy it. Of course. But did you know the products are all named after Scandinavian places? Sometimes, they just don`t look familiar to us.

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Another vivid memory I have was that it’s packed, and it looked like an amusement park for families that, oh well, just really want to have a mooch around it on weekends and maybe try their famous Swedish meatballs. Yes, you probably heard about the famous Ikea food shop and restaurant.

But what else do we know about Ikea? How did it become so popular outside Sweden?

The history of IKEA started in 1926 in the province of Smaland, in Sweden, where its founder Ingvar Kamprad was born and started to develop his business.

It was a tough starting but Ingvar’s entrepreneurial idea of re-selling boxes of matches in the village took his retail business to more than 40 countries now. Besides, he was elected by Forbes in 2015 as one of the ten richest people in the world, worth more than 40 billion dollars.

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Unfortunately, this famous businessman passed away in January this year, but he left his legacy here to be told and seen by many people around the world. IKEA has over 400 stores around the world.

What does IKEA sell?

A bunch of stuff. The company is famous for its quirky designed furniture that is also associated with being made of eco-friendly materials. It’s possible to find any kind of home appliances that you have in mind there. From apple cores to wardrobes. The greatest thing about the shop is having a huge option of patterns, colours and materials that fit every person’s taste and needs.

Their range of functional home-furniture has been so popular for two simple reasons: it’s easy to assemble and it’s also affordable.

Is IKEA a pop culture icon?

Oh yes! IKEA has become a pop culture icon with the brand being featured in famous shows such as Queer Eye and the film 500 Days with Summer ( with a soundtrack of Doves) And I guess it’s also a great reason to love this Swedish retail.

The wide variety of products and a great way of advertising their products also make IKEA an interesting brand over the years. It’s a brand that sticks in people’s mind and they make wicked adverts like this one with Men Like Me appearance performing You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties by Jona Lewie.  Elegant and fun!

Is IKEA a sustainable business?

Yes, it’s. One of the reasons people shop at IKEA has become a more sustainable company since they changed their code of conduct several years ago. Products are now easier to dismantle and recycle when necessary and the plastic bags are reusable ones. There is plenty to say about the company`s sustainability measures visiting people & planet.

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Besides, since I have saved a lot of space and money since I have started using IKEA products for the simple fact that one single piece can be so multi-functional that you ended up not buying more than necessary appliances. Who would think it? 

I guess these are my reasons to love IKEA. What about yours?

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I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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