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IKEA: The Low-Cost DIY Furniture Giant’s Business Model & SWOT Analysis

IKEA is a Swedish-based multinational group that designs and sells well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low prices. The business model of IKEA is centered on offering a wide range of furniture products that customers can assemble themselves, eliminating the need for professional assembly or delivery.

History of IKEA

IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 in Sweden, and since then, it has expanded rapidly to become a global brand with over 400 stores in 52 countries, including Latin America and India. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to the company, and we’ll take a closer look at how the pandemic has affected IKEA later in the article.

Ownership of IKEA

IKEA is owned by Inter IKEA Holding B.V., a Dutch registered company. The Interogo Foundation controls the voting rights of Inter IKEA Holding B.V. and exercises decisive control over the IKEA Concept.

Jon Abrahamsson Ring is the current CEO of the IKEA Concept.

Mission Statement of IKEA

IKEA’s mission statement is to improve the everyday lives of its customers by offering well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low prices. IKEA aims to be sustainable and reduce its impact on the environment by using renewable sources and achieving zero waste.

How IKEA Makes Money

Customer Segments of IKEA

IKEA’s customer segments are cost-conscious, young middle-class individuals who are looking for affordable home dcor solutions. IKEA’s approach to pricing and quality appeals to this demographic by offering products at lower prices than traditional furniture retailers while still maintaining a high level of quality.

Value Proposition of IKEA

The value proposition of IKEA is based on its ready-to-assemble furniture system. The use of this system allows IKEA to lower its shipping and delivery costs, which translates into lower prices for customers.

IKEA also uses renewable and sustainable materials in its products, which appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.

Channels of IKEA

IKEA offers both physical and online shopping options for its customers. Its physical stores are located in most major cities worldwide, while its website and mobile app offer customers the convenience of online shopping.

IKEA’s catalog is also a great tool for customers to view and consider products before purchasing.

Customer Relationships of IKEA

IKEA values its customer relationships and offers various customer support services, including in-store design consultations, warranty coverage for products, and a dedicated customer service team that can offer assistance via phone, email, or social media.

Revenue Streams of IKEA

IKEA’s revenue streams come from various sources. Some of the primary sources of revenue for the company include franchise fees, wholesale of goods, and the sale of catalogs and materials.

Key Resources of IKEA

IKEA’s key resources include its vast suppliers network, brand recognition, and stores worldwide. IKEA’s extensive supplier network allows it to offer affordable products while maintaining quality standards.

Key Activities of IKEA

IKEA’s key activities include designing and manufacturing furniture, as well as the sale of furniture in physical stores and online. The company is also focused on sustainability and is actively working to reduce its environmental impact.

Key Partners of IKEA

IKEA partners with various designers, carpenters, manufacturers, transporters, and delivery companies to provide its customers with affordable, quality products.

Cost Structure of IKEA

IKEA’s cost structure is centered on the manufacturing of designs and products, as well as distribution costs. The company strives to keep its prices low by minimizing overhead costs and utilizing efficient design and manufacturing processes.

Competitors of IKEA

IKEA faces competition from several major retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Wayfair, Tesco, Pepperfry, and American Woodmark. However, IKEA’s unique value proposition and commitment to sustainability set it apart from its competitors.


IKEA has established itself as a global brand due to its unique business model and commitment to affordability and sustainability. Despite facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing competition from other retailers, IKEA continues to innovate and provide high-quality products to its customers.

By offering a wide range of furniture products that customers can assemble themselves, IKEA has created a niche market that appeals to young, cost-conscious consumers.

IKEA SWOT Analysis

Strengths of IKEA

One of the main strengths of IKEA is its customer knowledge. The company collects and analyzes data on customer preferences, shopping patterns, and feedback to design products that meet the evolving needs of its customers.

IKEA also uses innovations in technology and materials to develop new products and improve the efficiency of its operations. IKEA’s supply chain integration is another strength.

The company has a well-developed supply chain that enables it to control all aspects of the production process, from design to delivery. This integration allows IKEA to reduce costs and maintain consistent product quality.

IKEA’s brand reputation is essential to its success. The company has established itself as a leader in the furniture industry, known for its high-quality products at low prices.

IKEA’s brand helps to ensure customer loyalty and attract new customers to its stores. IKEA’s diversified product portfolio is another strength.

The company offers a wide range of products, including furniture, home accessories, and food items. This diversification helps IKEA to remain competitive and appeal to a broader customer base.

Weaknesses of IKEA

IKEA has faced some negative publicity in recent years, which is a significant weakness. The company has been criticized for using child labor in its supply chain, and for its decision to discontinue certain products, such as the popular Expedit bookshelf.

These negative incidents have damaged IKEA’s reputation and resulted in a loss of customer trust. Another weakness of IKEA is the decreasing quality of its products.

Customers have reported that some of IKEA’s products are not as sturdy or long-lasting as they were in the past. The company must address these concerns and ensure that its products meet or exceed customer expectations.

IKEA’s focus on standard products may also be a weakness. While standard products allow IKEA to produce and distribute products more efficiently, they may not always meet the unique needs of customers.

The company must strike a balance between standardization and customization to remain competitive.

Opportunities for IKEA

One opportunity for IKEA is to expand into new markets in developing economies. Many developing countries have growing middle classes with an increasing demand for affordable, high-quality furniture.

By expanding into these markets, IKEA can increase its customer base and revenue streams. Another opportunity for IKEA is to expand into the grocery market.

The company already offers a selection of Swedish food items in its stores, such as meatballs and lingonberry jam. IKEA could expand its food offerings to include groceries, which would appeal to customers who value convenience and affordability.

Threats to IKEA

Intensifying competition from other retailers is a significant threat to IKEA. As more companies enter the furniture market, IKEA must remain innovative and find ways to differentiate itself from competitors.

The increasing number of online furniture retailers also presents a challenge to IKEA, as more customers shop online for furniture. The growth of consumer income is another threat to IKEA.

As customers become more affluent, they may be less willing to purchase low-cost, ready-to-assemble furniture. IKEA must adapt to changing consumer preferences by offering higher-end products or by expanding its product offerings to include customized products or unique designs.


In conclusion, IKEA has become the largest furniture company in the world due to its commitment to providing high-quality, low-cost furniture to its customers. The company’s DIY furniture system has created a niche market that appeals to young, cost-conscious consumers.

While IKEA faces challenges from negative publicity and intensifying competition, the company has many strengths, including its customer knowledge, innovation, brand reputation, supply chain integration, and diversified product portfolio. IKEA can capitalize on opportunities such as expanding into developing markets and expanding its food offerings to remain competitive.

With a focus on addressing weaknesses and leveraging strengths and opportunities, IKEA can continue to thrive and remain a leader in the furniture industry for years to come. In conclusion, IKEA is a global brand known for providing well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low prices.

The company’s success is rooted in its unique business model, which includes a wide range of furniture products that customers can assemble themselves. IKEA’s customer knowledge, use of innovations, supply chain integration, brand reputation, and diversified product portfolio are all strengths that have contributed to its success.

However, the company faces challenges, including negative publicity and increasing competition. Regardless, IKEA can capitalize on opportunities, such as expanding into developing markets and growing its food offerings.

Overall, IKEA’s commitment to affordability, sustainability, and innovation has made it a leader in the furniture industry, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

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