IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. IKEA is a home furnishings retailer unlike any other. It was founded on the basis of low cost and it offers modern and stylish furniture for all types of people at affordable prices. IKEA’s unique way of shopping, store layout, and do-it-yourself approach continues to help maintain their popularity. 1)Given the SWOT analysis presented in the case, what are IKEA’s key competitive advantages? What strategic focus should the company take as it looks to further expand into the U.S. market?
Given the SWOT analysis presented in the case, IKEA definitely has some key competitive advantages. All of the strengths mentioned in the case are very beneficial but the strongest I feel are the low cost structure, do-it-yourself approach, and the added amenities. The low cost structure benefits both IKEA as a company and the customers. IKEA is able to maintain low cost because they design their products around a target price. Also, the strong relationships IKEA has with their vendors is another way that enables the low costs. The do-it-yourself approach ties in with the low cost structure. In addition, the do-it-yourself approach makes the shopping experience at IKEA unique. Customers are able to go into IKEA, get what they need, and then get out without having to deal with sales people. In today’s world time is everything to people and IKEA recognizes this and it is shown through their method of the shopping experience. The added amenities are a huge competitive advantage to IKEA. No other furniture retailer has such amenities. Continuing with the whole time concept the amenities help to solve many problems. Some solutions that IKEA offers is a restaurant in the store if customers are hungry, a child care service so parents can take their time shopping knowing their children are being looked after, and rents racks for customers cars so they can transport the bigger bulky items to their home.
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