IKEA is a Swedish company producing home furnishing products at low prices to make them affordable to people. The company was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad and kept growing tremendously from 2 stores in 1964 to 114 stores in 1994 to 285 stores in 2008 in 36 countries with an additional 26 stores to be opened in 2009 welcoming a total of 522 million visitors. IKEA’s success story is the result of its founders opening store in 1951 to allow customers to inspect products before buying them, using a catalog to tempt people to visit an exhibition. Its key feature of providing self-assembled furniture starting from 1953 significantly cut transport and storage costs. In 1956, IKEA began testing the concept of flat pack to reduce costs through lowered storage space requirements, reduced transportation expenses, decreased transportation damage and reductions in labor costs.
IKEA and its mission
IKEA’s mission is to offer a wide range of home furnishing items of good design and function, excellent quality and durability, at prices so low that the majority of people can afford to buy them. The company targets the customer who is looking for value and is willing to do a little bit of work serving themselves, transporting the items home and assembling the furniture for a better price. The typical IKEA customer is young, low to middle income family.
Ethical Issues Related to IKEA’s Position on Child Labor
Besides its success stories, in regard to social issues, the company confronted the child labor problem, which this paper mainly discusses about. In 1994, a Swedish television showed a documentary film about children working in Pakistan, targeting IKEA. In India, IKEA faced criticism about child labor from various international organizations. In the spring of 1995, another film is threaten to be shown on German television about children working at looms at Rangan Exports, a company used by IKEA and the producer then invited IKEA to send...