Ikea is an acronym standing for Ingvar, Kamprad, Elmatryd and Agunnaryd, a group of private multinational companies with its headquarters in Holland. Founded by Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden in 1943, Ikea trades in designing and selling of a wide range of products. These include home appliances and accessories, motor vehicles and ready to assemble furniture. Ikea is known for a number of things. Its modern architectural designs for furniture and appliances and an interior design associated with eco-friendly simplicity is one thing Ikea is known for. This firm is attentive to product development, cost control and key operational details which have seen it lower its prices by two to three percent averagely over the decade to 2010.Ingvar had founded it mostly as a mail order business but began to sell furniture five years later and opened stores first in Sweden and later outside Sweden to other parts of Europe.

Operations at Ikea

The company has opened stores in very many countries with the largest one worldwide in South Korea. The stores in the older days were designed one way layout with short cuts to other parts of the showrooms so as to market the products and services in entirety.

The newer ones are mostly made of glass for aesthetics and functionality with natural lightings to give a better impression of products, reduce energy costs and motivate workers. Shopping in Ikea varies according to the store design. Customers take note of the desired products in the showroom before proceeding to self-service warehouses and finally pay them at the cash register.

Customers enjoy traditional Swedish foods sold at cheaper prices in restaurants in Ikea stores. The stores also have play areas for children where parents drop off their kids for play and pick them.

Commodities involved in trade

Products are mostly identified by one word names with Scandinavian origins. Ikea mainly markets its products using annual catalogues distributed in the stores and in mail.

Ikea designs self-assembled furniture in order to reduce use and costs of packaging. This also goes a long way making easier the transportation of the furniture through public means. Furniture is made using wood and plastic among other materials to make them adaptable and flexible for small and large buildings.

Most of the products are designed in Sweden and manufactured in developing countries to lower the costs involved. The final assembly is done by the consumer for most of the products.