I just want to mention that this period is special because this is the Second World War. Sweden has a special position at this time because politicians decided that Sweden will stay neutral. From 1932 to 1976, Social Democrats were at the head of the country, supporting the ideology of equal distribution of resources and fair socialcoverage. When IKEA had been created, Sweden entered in a “socio-economic” phase (1945- 1965) where the priority was to ensure the material well-being.
The first service innovation of IKEA was in 1953 with the creation of a “showroom” (Before that IKEA was a simple retailer). This has been a key step in the Ikea’s development. For the first time customers can see, touch and test furniture beforebuying. This showroom is the solution given by IKEA to make the difference with competitors. Indeed IKEA and its main competitors had reduced a lot in prices thanks to economies of scales, and they fear that customers don’t perceive the quality anymore. By exposing products, IKEA shows functionality and quality of product.
The following flowchart shows the global environment of IKEA in 1953.IKEA provides to customers a feeling of membership thanks to the IKEA family card or the fitting of shop and restaurant. Everything is done in order to make one feel at home, we feel relaxed and have pleasure and desire by testing product in a real and lovely living room.
Concerning resources optimization, IKEA provides economies to customers because the same products would be more expensiveelsewhere.
The only criticism is time constraint.
First customers are obliged to spend a long time in IKEA. There is no time optimization possible. IKEA shops are organized like a path and we are obliged to pass by each department. People completely lose all sense of time and cannot come to IKEA to buy only a few things. Customers know they need time to go there and expect at least a halfday. I think this time constraint entails a lose of customers, particularly for decoration because people will prefer proximity shops.
Then even if customers have taken time to go to IKEA they have to assemble furniture. This is one of the reasons of low price but everybody is not ready to lose time and is not able to face this difficulty.
The cooperation level ofcustomer is very high because they have to be very active (take furniture in warehouse…) in order to provide the service. Without cooperation of customer the service would never take place.
* Physical participation :
IKEA requires a strong physical participation of customers because they have to walk a lot along departments, to take furniture and product to the checkout, to bring furniture athome and to assemble them.
* Intellectual participation:
IKEA requires a medium intellectual participation. Indeed the simple purchase requires understanding the functioning of self-service but it’s relatively easy. I think certain people can have intellectual difficulties, for instance, when they have to use the software IKEA® Home Planner or when they have to understand plans of furnitureor instructions for use.
I think IKEA plays on customers’ affective through the creation of an environment which incite to consumption. IKEA put furniture in situation in order people feels like at home, test furniture and items and they want to buy it.
I don’t apply the chapter 3 to IKEA because they don’t use machine and customers aren’t face with technologies….
Ikea’sphysical support (+)
* Exposition of apartment with all furniture and items in situation like real apartment (showroom)
* Big warehouses with all the stock in self-service
* Cheap and pleasant restaurant
* Nursery for children
* Ikea’s catalogues and web sites with all references and products
* the software IKEA® Home Planner
The Ikea’s physical support is divers but...