Ikea is an international company. It is known for home furnishing retailing. It has grown a lot since it started in 1943. Today it is one of the largest furniture retailer. It is recognised for their Scandinavian style. The majority of ikea’s furniture is flat pack ready to be assembled by the consumer.This means that they allow a reduction in costs and packaging. IKEA carries a range of 9,500 products, including home furniture and accessories. This is available in all IKEA stores and customers can order much of the range online through IKEA's website. In the UK they have 18 stores, the first one opened in 1987 in Warrington. In the Ikea stores they also have restaurants and café serving, they serve typical Swedish food and they also have small food shops selling Swedish groceries, everything from meatballs to jam. The store is located worldwide, in 2008 the Ikea group had 253 stores in 25 different countries, with a further 32 stores owned and run by franchisees. In that year it came 565 million visitors to the stores and a further 450 million visits were made to theirwebsite. Their sales reached 21.2 billion Euros in 2008 showing an increase of 7%. The company makes best sale in Germany, USA, France, UK and Sweden.
Sustainability and environmental design are central to its business strategy. It has launched a new sustainability plan to take the company through to 2015. This will combine social, environmental and economic issues. They use SWOT analysis to help it reach its objectives. This is a strategic planning tool. It helps the business to focus on key issues. SWOT is the first stage of planning and looks at the Strength, weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a project or business venture. Strengths and weaknesses are internal aspects. This means that they are within the control of the business. may refer to aspects of marketing, finance, manufacturing or organisation. Opportunities and threats are external factors. This means that they are outside the control of the business. This means that they may include the environment like the economic situation, social changes or technological advances, such as the internet. A business can create opportunities and counter threats by making the most of its strengths and addressing its weaknesses.
One example on Ikea’s key to strength it is strategic aim to use no more material than necessary in the production of each item. In addition, it develops the product plans to increase its use of waste or recycled materials.