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IKEA Thrives Through Commitment to Innovation, Sustainability

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IKEA was named one of People’s “50 Companies That Care” in its second annual list of businesses that are prospering while demonstrating respect, care and concern for their employees, their communities and the environment.

“At IKEA, we are committed to creating a better everyday life for the people and communities touched by our business,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA US President. “From building a diverse and inclusive work environment for our co-workers, where everyone feels valued and respected, to giving back to our communities through local, national and global programs, we believe that together we can make a positive difference.

On its sustainability drawing board, IKEA has partnered with Swedish startup Altered on a new, easily installed nozzle that slashes water use to next to nothing and has two settings, one where the water enters as a mist that saves 98%, and one where the w

ater is being sprayed that saves 85%. IKEA’s version will be called Misteln, and is expected to cost around $6 when it’s launched in about one year.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has revolutionized home furnishings of good design and function at low prices. The brand operates 363 IKEA stores in 29 countries, including 48 in the US alone.

Its commitment to innovation continues to inspire the company, which has embraced cutting-edge technology such as augmented reality and smart home tech. To that end, a Tradfri-branded smart blind system is in the works that comes with a wireless push-button remote for quick adjustments. Controlled by smartphone app, Tradfri products support voice controls and work with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.

Earlier this year, IKEA opened a world of furnishing possibilities to millions of Android users with IKEA Place, letting users “place” 3-D representations of more than 3,200 IKEA products into their personal space.

Known for its corporate mantra—“self-assembly required”—but adjusting to consumer expectation, IKEA this year acquired TaskRabbit, which will power its at-home assembly service, priced from $36 per job, based on a flat rate per type of item.

Other new and improved product and service options for customers include a lower-priced shipping and delivery option starting at $29 regardless of weight and size.

Click & Collect lets customers shop/purchase products online and pick up in-store. The fee is $5, and when picking up the order and customers receive a $5 IKEA Gift Card to use on a future purchase.

With big box stores on the decline, IKEA plans to build smaller stores with the first opening this fall in Tottenham Court Road in central London. A smaller store concept can be opened within six months, while large-scale stores take an average of three to four years to build.

The Swedish furniture giant opened in India last month, betting on the country’s growing middle class of 1.3 billion people to buy about $30 billion a year of furniture, lighting and household items like bed linens and cookware.

line for entrace to IKEA.. happens only in India #IKEA #followthecrowd #godsmustbecrazy pic.twitter.com/8lTEChnVAh

— Sriniwas (@sriniwas_) September 8, 2018

Sixteen years ago, Spike Jonze created a classic ad for IKEA, Lamp.

IKEA Canada has created a sequel illustrating responsible consumerism in Lamp 2.

In an unanticipated move, Marcus Engman, the head of design at IKEA since 2012, is leaving to start his own design consultancy. As Fast Company reports, “Engman’s impact on Ikea cannot be overstated. While Ikea has been an icon of affordable style for decades, in recent years, the company’s approach had grown stale. Ikea had a repetitive Ikea aesthetic. Engman worked to change that.”

IKEA has committed to become people and planet positive by 2030, designing all products with circular principles with the goal to only use renewable and recycled materials and to reach zero emissions in home deliveries by 2025, and to expand affordable home solar solutions to 29 IKEA markets by 2025.

Our updated People & Planet Positive strategy has launched today. With new commitments which aim to inspire & enable people to live more sustainably, reduce climate impact, contribute to a world without waste & create a fair & equal society. See more here: https://t.co/r35W3Y0z6I pic.twitter.com/oZYeNnBMfL

— IKEA UK (@IKEAUK) June 7, 2018

“Our ambition is to become people and planet positive by 2030 while growing the IKEA business. Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” said Inter IKEA Group CEO, Torbjörn Lööf.

 

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