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 social coverage. 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 before buying. 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 expensive elsewhere.
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 half