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Feature: IKEA develops stably amid European economic crisis

11-05-2012 21:10 BJT

by He Miao, Sun Zheng

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- As the world's largest home products chain retailer, IKEA, the company from Sweden is creating a myth of "IKEA mode" while many of its European peers got mired down in the economic crisis.

Mikael Ohlsson, CEO of IKEA, has been working for IKEA for 33 years and was appointed to be the CEO in 2009. Ohlsson is most qualified to talk about how the well established multinational corporation has done during the downturn in recent years. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently in IKEA Helsingborg store, he stressed that they are long-term and don't change their direction in short term, although the whole Europe met economic crisis.


"For most people economy is strength and time is strength. And in times when the global economy and my personal economy is less good then I become more value-conscious," said Ohlsson, adding that IKEA is trying to offer good quality at an affordable price.

Concerning about low prices and sales growing, IKEA designs and develops together with its suppliers in efforts to take away unnecessary costs throughout the chain and offer the great value to our customers.

In China for instance, last year IKEA lowered the price about 2.5 percent and it's 40 to 50 percent more affordable today than 10 to 15 years ago.


"IKEA grew up in the poorest region in Sweden ... We try to take away unnecessary cost to be industrial more than that building good distribution," said Ohlsson.

"We try to build up resources before we use them and we finance big big part of our investments through our operations," he added.

At the same time, IKEA has never forget to take measures for sustainable development, which is one of the keys to fight economy downturn.

"(We have) leading in many fields, LED, development, new lights sources that's a new part of the sustainability strategy. If everybody in the world would change from incandescent or even low energy lamps to LED, the saving from a sustainability point of view but also economy point of view would be tremendous," said Ohlsson.


In 2012, IKEA is making an investment of 1.5 billion euro to enter the India market, while some European companies are suffering the economic crisis.

IKEA tries not to grow faster than that they can. Ohlsson said China is one of the most important markets to IKEA. Ohlsson has pend a lot of time in China and IKEA managed to get first contact with lot of customers there. Today, IKEA has 11 stores and will open two to three new stores a year in China.

"China is an important country for IKEA to create a better every day for the many people," he said.

"In China we have the first ten years open one store a year and this year two stores and in the coming years it would be three new stores a year," Ohlsson added.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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