Maggie Galehouse interviewed us over the phone a couple of weeks ago and here’s an excerpt from her article on the Houston Chronicle:
“ALMHULT, SWEDEN — Most furniture chains don’t have hard-core fans who camp out in parking lots before grand openings or blog about copycat competition in China.
But Ikea is more than a chain. The blue-and-yellow warehouse jammed with low-cost, high-style furniture and housewares is closer to a design revolution.
At company headquarters this spring, project manager Lars Dafnas summed up Ikea’s appeal in just three words: “Natural. Blond. Solid.” It’s a short profile that has cut a long swath through the global
furniture market, making Ikea the world’s leading home-furnishings retailer….
…With $18.3 billion in sales last year, the world clearly likes what Ikea is doing.
At www.positivefanatics.com, the self-proclaimed “unofficial Ikea web journal,” megafans blog about Ikea news and share photos and wish lists.
Armand Frasco, who created the blog in November, said the site is so popular that people think he works for Ikea and regularly ask for him for job applications.
“It’s amazing,” Frasco said. “I hear from people in Michigan, Russia, Malaysia, everywhere.”
When the Houston Ikea opened at its new location in August 2004, the first customers lined up nine days before the doors opened. With a $10,000 gift certificate as an incentive for the first, it’s easy to understand the motivation. But living in a tent city in the middle of a Houston summer is, as they say, a whole ‘nother thing..”
[Thanks to Allen Reid!]
Image: “Thar They Blow!” @ IKEA Lovers/FLICKR
ABF © 2006