IKEA Business Model: A Comprehensive Review

IKEA is a well-known international company that has become synonymous with affordable home furnishings. With over 365 stores in 47 countries, IKEA’s business model has proven to be successful in capturing a wide range of customers.

Founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA began as a small store selling pens, wallets, and jewelry before shifting its focus to furniture retail. The company’s approach of offering well-designed, functional products at affordable prices has revolutionized the industry and made stylish home furnishings accessible to a broader audience.

In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the key components of IKEA’s business model, examine its competitive advantage, explore its marketing strategies, and discuss its sustainability initiatives. We will also touch upon IKEA’s expansion and growth, as well as some of its failed campaigns to provide a balanced perspective of its journey in the business world.

Key Takeaways:

  • IKEA’s business model focuses on offering affordable, well-designed home furnishings.
  • The company caters to a diverse range of customers, particularly those who are budget-conscious.
  • IKEA differentiates itself through cost control, product development, and operational efficiency.
  • The company’s sustainability initiatives align with its commitment to reducing environmental impact.
  • IKEA’s marketing strategies revolve around showcasing its products through various channels, emphasizing the customer experience.

About IKEA

IKEA, founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, has become one of the largest furniture retailers globally. With a focus on affordable home furnishings, IKEA strives to provide well-designed and functional products to its customers. The company offers a wide range of furniture, kitchenware, and home accessories that are known for their quality and affordability. IKEA’s commitment to making stylish and practical products accessible to a wide range of customers has contributed to its popularity and success.

The IKEA Experience: Quality and Affordability

IKEA has gained recognition for offering affordable home furnishings without compromising on quality. By employing efficient manufacturing processes and leveraging its global supply chain, the company is able to keep its costs down and pass on the savings to customers. This approach has made IKEA a go-to choice for individuals and families looking to furnish their homes on a budget while still enjoying stylish and functional designs.

IKEA’s Target Market

IKEA’s target market consists of customers who are looking for affordable home furnishings. The company caters to a diverse range of customers, but one buyer persona that is commonly associated with IKEA is the budget-conscious individual or family who wants to furnish their home without breaking the bank.

This buyer persona is motivated by affordable prices, DIY creativity, sustainability, and functional design. They value products that offer good quality and functionality at a reasonable price, allowing them to create a stylish and comfortable home within their budget.

To reach its target market, IKEA has established a strong presence on various social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By actively engaging with its target audience on these platforms, IKEA can showcase its affordable home furnishing options and inspire customers with creative ideas for their homes.

The IKEA Target Market Persona

  • Affordable Prices: The target market values products that are reasonably priced, allowing them to furnish their homes within their budget.
  • DIY Creativity: The target market enjoys the challenge of assembling and customizing their furniture, making it a personal and creative experience.
  • Sustainability: The target market is conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases and seeks sustainable options.
  • Functional Design: The target market appreciates furniture that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves a practical purpose in their homes.

By understanding the needs and preferences of its target market, IKEA can tailor its products and marketing efforts to attract and engage customers who are seeking affordable and functional home furnishings.

IKEA’s Business Model Components

IKEA’s business model consists of several key components that contribute to its success in the furniture retail industry. Let’s take a closer look at these components:

Customer Segments

IKEA focuses on capturing the mass market by offering affordable and well-designed home furnishings. The company caters to a diverse range of customers, including budget-conscious individuals and families who want to furnish their homes without overspending. By targeting a broad customer base, IKEA can reach a large audience and drive sales volume.

Cost Structure

IKEA’s cost structure is designed to maintain competitive prices while ensuring quality products. The company achieves cost savings through efficient manufacturing processes, procurement strategies, and economies of scale. By controlling costs throughout the supply chain, IKEA can pass the savings on to customers, making its products more accessible and affordable.

Revenue Model

IKEA generates revenue through various streams. The company earns income from franchise fees paid by franchisees operating IKEA stores worldwide. Additionally, merchandise sales play a significant role in IKEA’s revenue generation. By offering a wide range of home furnishings, kitchenware, and accessories, IKEA can capture customer orders and drive sales both online and in-store.

Key Resources

IKEA’s key resources include its network of suppliers, skilled labor force, and manufacturing facilities. These resources enable IKEA to maintain quality standards, ensure a steady supply of products, and meet customer demands. By effectively managing its resources, IKEA can deliver well-designed products at affordable prices.

Customer Relationships

IKEA places a strong emphasis on building and maintaining good customer relationships. The company offers a family card program that provides discounts and exclusive benefits to cardholders. Additionally, IKEA provides assembly and delivery services to enhance the overall customer experience. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, IKEA fosters loyalty and encourages repeat purchases.

Market Presence

IKEA utilizes multiple channels to enhance its market presence. The company sells its products through its websites, making it easy for customers to browse and purchase items online. IKEA also distributes catalogs that showcase its product range and inspire customers. Through effective marketing and advertising strategies, IKEA ensures visibility and brand recognition in the furniture retail industry.

In summary, IKEA’s business model focuses on capturing the mass market by offering affordable and well-designed home furnishings. The company’s cost-effective approach, diverse customer segments, revenue streams, key resources, customer relationships, and market presence contribute to its continued success in the industry.

IKEA’s Competitive Advantage

One of the key factors that sets IKEA apart from its competitors is its competitive advantage in offering well-designed, functional home furnishings at affordable prices. With a strong emphasis on cost control, product development, and operational efficiency, IKEA is able to lower its product prices by 2% to 3% compared to other furniture retailers. This cost advantage allows the company to cater to a wide range of customers who are looking for quality products without the hefty price tag.

In addition to its focus on affordability, IKEA’s extensive supplier network and efficient supply chain management contribute to its competitive advantage. By working closely with a diverse range of suppliers, IKEA ensures a steady supply of high-quality materials and components at competitive prices. This enables the company to maintain its affordable pricing while delivering products that are built to last.

Furthermore, IKEA’s strong brand recognition and customer loyalty play a crucial role in enhancing its competitive position in the market. The company is known for its iconic blue and yellow branding, as well as its unique furniture designs that combine functionality and aesthetics. This recognition and loyalty give IKEA a strong foothold in the market, making it a trusted choice for customers seeking affordable, yet stylish home furnishings.

To summarize, IKEA’s competitive advantage stems from its ability to deliver well-designed, functional products at affordable prices, thanks to its cost control measures and efficient supply chain. Coupled with its strong brand recognition and customer loyalty, these factors position IKEA as a leader in the furniture industry.

IKEA’s Competitive Advantage

Factors Explanation
Well-Designed, Functional Products IKEA offers home furnishings that combine both functionality and aesthetics, providing customers with versatile and stylish options.
Affordable Prices By focusing on cost control and operational efficiency, IKEA lowers its product prices by 2% to 3% compared to competitors, making its offerings accessible to a wide range of customers.
Extensive Supplier Network IKEA works closely with a diverse range of suppliers to ensure a steady supply of high-quality materials and components at competitive prices, supporting its affordability and product quality.
Efficient Supply Chain Efficient supply chain management enables IKEA to streamline its operations and deliver products in a timely manner, reducing costs and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Strong Brand Recognition IKEA’s iconic blue and yellow branding, along with its reputation for affordable and stylish home furnishings, enhances its competitive position in the market.
Customer Loyalty IKEA’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its unique product offerings foster strong customer loyalty, further solidifying its competitive advantage.

IKEA’s Sustainability Strategy

Sustainability is a key focus for IKEA, and the company has implemented various initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. IKEA is committed to using renewable energy sources and has introduced sustainable materials into its product range, such as recycled plastic, bamboo, and cork.

The company also promotes circular economy practices through its repair, reuse, and recycle programs. By encouraging customers to repair and repurpose products, IKEA aims to extend their lifecycle and reduce waste. Additionally, the company has set ambitious goals to become climate positive, meaning it will reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than it emits.

To support its sustainability efforts, IKEA has invested in renewable energy projects and aims to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2025. The company has also incorporated sustainable practices in its supply chain, working with suppliers to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

IKEA’s sustainability strategy aligns with its goal of creating a better life for everyone by providing environmentally friendly products and reducing waste. By taking a holistic approach and integrating sustainability into its operations, IKEA is working towards a more sustainable future.

IKEA’s Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing, IKEA goes above and beyond to showcase its well-designed and affordable products. A key aspect of the company’s marketing strategy is utilizing multiple channels to reach its target audience. IKEA leverages catalogs, digital advertising, social media platforms, and its website to effectively engage with customers.

One of the key elements of IKEA’s marketing strategy is its emphasis on the customer experience. The company understands that customers want to see and feel the products before making a purchase. As a result, IKEA invests in in-store displays and creates interactive showrooms, allowing customers to envision how IKEA products can meet their needs and enhance their homes.

IKEA’s marketing campaigns center around showcasing the practicality and versatility of its products. The company highlights how its furniture and accessories can solve customers’ everyday challenges and help create functional and beautiful living spaces.

Central to IKEA’s marketing efforts is its strong brand and distinctive style. The company has built a reputation for offering well-designed products that blend functionality, affordability, and Scandinavian aesthetics. This unique brand identity resonates with customers and sets IKEA apart from its competitors.

Overall, IKEA’s marketing strategy effectively communicates the value of its products and engages with customers across various platforms, ensuring that the brand remains top-of-mind when it comes to home furnishings and accessories.

IKEA marketing strategy

IKEA’s Expansion and Growth

IKEA has experienced rapid global growth, establishing its presence in various countries and expanding its reach. The company has successfully entered new markets, including the United States, Italy, and India, strategically opening new stores to cater to diverse customer preferences. In 2018 alone, IKEA achieved global sales of 38.8 billion Euros, a testament to its strong global presence and widespread popularity.

Global Store Locations

To support its expansion efforts, IKEA has opened stores in numerous countries across the globe. The following table provides an overview of some key locations:

Country Number of Stores
United States 51
Germany 53
China 30
United Kingdom 22
France 34

IKEA’s ability to adapt to different markets and provide products that cater to the specific needs and preferences of local customers has been instrumental in its global expansion. By embracing the diversity of consumer demands, IKEA continues to establish itself as a leading player in the global furniture retail industry.

Failed Campaigns of IKEA

Despite its success, IKEA has had a few campaigns that did not resonate well with customers. One notable example is the “Bakery” campaign in 2019, which featured a promotional email with the subject line “Fresh Start.” The email included a picture of a cinnamon roll that some recipients mistook for an ultrasound image, leading to confusion and backlash. While IKEA quickly apologized and clarified the intention behind the email, this incident serves as a reminder that even successful companies can have missteps in their marketing campaigns.


IKEA’s business model has revolutionized the furniture retail industry by offering affordable and well-designed home furnishings. Through its emphasis on cost control, sustainability, and customer-centric marketing, IKEA has established itself as a global leader in the market. The company’s success can be attributed to its strong brand, extensive product range, and commitment to innovation.

As IKEA continues to expand its global presence, it remains focused on meeting the changing needs and preferences of its diverse customer base. By staying true to its core values of cost efficiency and customer satisfaction, IKEA has built a loyal following worldwide.

Looking ahead, IKEA will continue to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing consumer landscape. With its customer-centric approach, commitment to sustainability, and dedication to providing affordable home furnishing solutions, IKEA is well-positioned to maintain its status as a market leader and meet the demands of the future.


What is IKEA’s business model?

IKEA’s business model focuses on offering well-designed, functional home furnishing products at affordable prices, making them accessible to a wide range of customers.

When was IKEA founded and by whom?

IKEA was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad.

What does IKEA sell?

IKEA sells a variety of ready-to-assemble housewares, furniture, and kitchen sets.

Who is IKEA’s target market?

IKEA’s target market consists of customers who are looking for affordable home furnishings, including budget-conscious individuals and families.

What are the key components of IKEA’s business model?

The key components of IKEA’s business model include customer segments, cost structure, and revenue model.

What is IKEA’s competitive advantage?

IKEA’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to offer well-designed, functional home furnishings at affordable prices, along with its strong brand recognition and efficient supply chain management.

What is IKEA’s sustainability strategy?

IKEA is committed to using renewable energy sources and sustainable materials, promoting circular economy practices, and reducing its environmental impact through various initiatives.

What is IKEA’s marketing strategy?

IKEA’s marketing strategy revolves around showcasing its well-designed and affordable products through various channels, including catalogs, digital advertising, and social media platforms.

How has IKEA expanded its presence globally?

IKEA has entered new markets and opened new stores in various countries, contributing to its rapid growth and global expansion.

Has IKEA had any failed marketing campaigns?

Yes, IKEA has had a few campaigns that did not resonate well with customers, including the “Bakery” campaign in 2019.

What is the overall takeaway from IKEA’s business model?

IKEA’s business model, focused on offering affordable and well-designed home furnishings, has propelled the company to become a global leader in the furniture retail industry.
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Editorial Team