13 Things You Never Knew About IKEA


IKEA hired Thai translators to carefully scrutinize product names four years before opening a store in Thailand because some IKEA product names, when literally translated into Thai, suggest sexual acts.

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Ancient tombs

China discovered multiple ancient tombs dating back 1,800 years in the city of Nanjing, only to destroy them by building an IKEA over the site.

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Ikea bed

UK customers have bought 12.8 million mattresses from Ikea since 1987, nearly one for every two households in the UK. An estimated one in five children in Britain have been conceived in an Ikea bed.

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At first

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder, first started selling matchboxes as a child, before selling fountain pens, cigarette lighters and nylon stockings. The company was incorporated in 1943.

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Efficiency in packaging

The primary reason why IKEA furniture is so inexpensive is its efficiency in packaging. Their chief goal in design is to figure out how to pack their furniture into a compact space and put more of them on each pallet.

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Kamprad first opened a restaurant in an Ikea shop in 1960, after he realised too many people visited the shop, but left without buying because they were hungry. Ikea estimates it has sold 11.6 billion Swedish meatballs and 1.2 billion hotdogs to its British customers since it opened in the UK in 1987.

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Traffic jams

An IKEA in the Netherlands had to cancel their 1 euro breakfast special because it attracted too many customers and caused traffic jams on the highway.

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Big tumblers

When it first entered the US market, Ikea could not understand why its small flower vases were selling so well. It turned out they were being used as big tumblers.

Bulla bulla

IKEA uses a technique called ‘bulla bulla’ – a bunch of items is purposely jumbled in bins to create the impression of volume and, therefore, inexpensiveness.

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