IKEA of Sweden

Lori Drugan

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sep 8, 2004
Fairlawn, OH
I just finished cutting a mat an inserting it into an IKEA redi-made frame. Hopefully I won't be seeing many more of those. My customer was raving about the beauty and quality of their products. I definately was not impressed. I am in Northeastern OH and am not familiar as we do not have one near to us. Anyone else out there utter a few cuss words under their breath working with this product?

%$&&^%$#!! That a major cusss word in Swedish...

Do you mean people are buying ready-mades from Ikea and want them matted??

A double %$&&^%$#!!

Can you close the back after putting the mat in? That usually prevents ready-mades from being matted in the first place (not enough depth in the frame).
Can't be any worse than Pottery Barns black flaking redi-mades. #@%$#^ errrggghhh Those things are terrible!
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
The frames are so-so. Some of the furniture is very cool.

"So-so" is probably generous.
The frames are so-so and metric. Not only did I have a client who wanted me to mat her art into Ikea frames, she wanted me to use her Ready Made mats from Aaron Bros. I charged appropriately.

I did the first 14 steps to assemble my latest Ikea acquisition for my living room before work today. Will I be able to pass it on to my son as an heirloom? Nah. But I am able to have a modestly decent looking room without financing any of it.
I luv IKEA............wish we would get one here. They have the coolest accessories.
I'm guessing that if you went onto a Furniture Chat Room, they would be cussing the furniture and liking the frames

IKEA is, for those not familiar, a Swedish owned Big Box with excruciating low prices and phenomenally large crowds

Like Kathy indicated they have a hit a responsive cord with many, many consumers. In our market, the parking lot is jammed all the time

I think Meaghan's assesment is very accurate and points out that there are, indeed, a large numbr of consumers that are just woefully underserved by many framers.

So often, we want to tell each other just how horrible these behemoths are (as many of us shop there) instead of seeing what they do well and "stealing" an idea or two

For example, in our stores we currently use their promotional signage system. If stuff works, why not "appropriate" it?
I'm with Kathy - I love IKEA. Have some of their framed art in my house.

Their price points are great and we've used (stolen) several of their ideas for windows - not framing ideas, but attention getters so your window gets looked at. The nearest one is two hours away.

We have a doctor in town who buys her frames at IKEA and then has us cut mats and assemble. Really haven't had any problems with them....and I'm happy to collect her $$
Think they are good for some stuff and not for others. I got this neat light thing...can't plug it in, because you need a special bulb from Sweden. Maybe the one I got was missing a bulb?

I have been to a couple...I feel like you are in a maze. They make you go through a certain way...unless you have been there and know the different passage ways that are hidden around corners and unmarked. This could be just the ones I have been too.

I like the upper end furniture. Otherwise the college type stuff is not that great, but it has a huge market.

OK, I get it. I just went to their USA websight. It puts me in the mind of our version of a Pier 1 store that we have.

Maryann, I charged our normal mat and fitting fees, but the quality of the "Reslig" frame was not at all to the standards I'm used to working with.

Bob, you made me chuckle. Maybe subconsciously I new it was a BB so my opinion was skewed. Even so, the quality of the frame was substandard at best.

At any rate, thanks all...now I know what IKEA is.

Hey Lori-No argument that we probably make a better frame, but they have these bad boys stacked by the gross (or so it seems) and I would guess they replenish those stacks daily

If I may suggest? When we go to places like these, we need to take the blinders off and try and find what it is that drives consumers by the busloads

So many great operators like them just do things well

It's the wise merchant that sees if there might be something they do well that we might also. Look for the exceptionally good more than the exceptionally bad. I'll promise you one thing many more will agree with your assessment of the good than the bad
In the front door and past the barrels of incredibly cheap candles or pine paper towel racks that pastes the first subconcious message in your head then a catalog for 1 hand and a shopping bag for the other and please leave your world and come upstairs to Ikea's world and at the landing half way up are the 8 foot high posters showing the current loss leaders in the form of a 29 dollar bookcase and a 19 dollar chair and by the time you are on the second floor in the great land of Ikea you think you are in shoppers heaven. Then they offer you a cheap lunch to finish their grasp on you. Lots of stuff which must be cheap but much isn't. Furniture that's all a bit smaller than normal so they can get 1 more desktop out of a sheet of particle board and get it in a smaller box for you to take home. Ikea is really good at putting a good veneer on particle board but it's still particleboard and what's called sidewalk furniture - you put it out on the sidewalk after 5 or 6 years and go get some more. And if they can't get your money upstairs they will run you through a grand market of stuff you don't really need but fits nicely in that shopping basket they gave you. And when you get to give them your money they ask you to return the shopping basket and catalog.

Man, they're good!!!
For example, in our stores we currently use their promotional signage system.
Bob, do you mean you give all your products nonsense names that sound vaguely swedish? For instance:
frame = TYGVE
glass = SNUVLI
mounting = BOORST

Works for me!
:cool: Rick
Gotta love those goofy names. I love Ikea's lighting department. And the apple cake dessert.
I was in Ikea in Minneapolis a few months ago. We went to just look around and spent $350.

Let's see, we got some book shelves for Joby's apartment, a large stuffed dragon that's staring down from the rafters in my office, some glassware, a tiny tea set for a friend's toddler daughter, a tea kettle for Sarah, some stuffed animals for real kids . . .

We didn't look at frames. The ones I've seen have come into my shop to have mats cut. I'm pretty sure the mats cost more than the frames.
I know the mats cost more than the frames, Ron.

We get them in and just love our CMC to death now.

Kind of an 8x10 [metric equivilant] with a double colored inlay mat.... $45 plus fitting. :D

We're getting an IKEA here in Portland soon. I would kill to have a 2,000 sq ft frame shop next door with a 12' tall sign.

Just what Starbucks looks for... lots of grease spots in the parking lot.
Bandsaw called their furniture-sidewalk furniture...but is this society for the most part like that? We as consumers still shop at Walmart, Target, Ikea, K-Mart, and all these other places for bargains. They exist because we buy their cheaper than yesterdays' priced goods. They are here and weather or not you throw them away in 5 or 6 years they will be there to sell you something else that you will throw away.

We need to realize this with framing. Many customers are not looking for five or six years out of their artwork. It is a disposable society. We want it now, but tommorrow we will change it like we change our bloomers. We need to see this and take it for what it is. Sometimes a poster that is five dollars is not made to last for twenty years. Just till we decide to repaint, get new furniture and buy new posters.

Thats my favorite question to ask young people about their poster. "is this the poster you want to grow old with, or just this years yearning?"

It's a lot less tacky then "did you want to invest in a 50 year frame job, or is this 2010's garage sale fodder?"

Amazing how many are first shocked that I would even think about that, then they laugh and realize that I have zeroed in on exactly what they are in possession of: Garage Sale Fodder and therefore a great candidate for ColorPlak.
Sorry Bob, there isn't one close enough for me to visit yet.

How far is Randolph from Wormtown? I hear the traffic tie-ups are legendary (at least they were when they first opened.) It was on all the news.
Originally posted by Bob Carter:

If I may suggest? When we go to places like these, we need to take the blinders off and try and find what it is that drives consumers by the busloads
Well that would go against the billiant advice we get daily which is to do something TOTALLY different and find a nich.

So you're suggesting we instead find out what resonates well with the people holding the cash? That would never work.
We constantly get IKEA frames brought in to us to cut matts for. Although, we welcome their money, they are a pain!!! Not space for the additional mat that they ususally want, the glass is very thin (breaks easy) and be careful of the hangers. Frams are way to thin to put good hangers on!
Mr. T, that additional mat that they want, is exactly what we charge extra for... because it requires an "in-lay" mat.

"How many colored in-lays would you like to buy madam?"
Hey Jay-You've been around long enough to see advice that flows past

If we have any larger problem to overcome than "we do not operate in a monlithic market" I'm not sure what it might be

Just like we see IKEA frames, and TK prints and signed Benjamin Franklin documents and everything else in between

We need to be prepared to "take the money" from as many of these potential sources as possible.

What is that old expression about the gift horse and his mouth? It seems we need to turn that ol' horse around because too many are looking at the wrong end
Perhaps we should advertise that we can fit your picture into that "Swedish Size" Frame.

It's a lot easier to show them what a real frame is when they're in your shop talking to you!
I had a blast at Ikea and will probably go again. We could all learn something about merchandising from them.

But I also shop at Hobby Lobby, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

I guess I should be ashamed of myself.
Hey guys, the founder of Ikea is 7th WEALTHIEST person in the world! So he must be doing something right...When they come in with frames from Ikea and wondering why nothing fits, just cut mats that do, do the fitting, make money, make them happy, make yourself happy and get on with life!

The descriptions of IKEA by BAndsaw, Patrick Leland, and others are also a description of one of the best retailing ploys around. They tell you what they've got that's easy on the budget right away, make you walk a certain traffic pattern and throw all kinds of little goodies into a merchandising mix that makes you feel like you're getting the best of all worlds. The perception is that you are shopping in a cool, hip European place (not Wal-mart) and you're doing it in a pretty frugal way.

So, you think--that gorgeous sisal room rug might be a little price-y, but you know---Pottery Barn probably charges twice or three times as much. And those lamps really DO go nicely with the rug. The result? You go in for one or two items and come out with a car load! You've shopped, spent money, entertained yourself, AND--had a pretty good lunch!

I wish I could learn more from them, the only criticism I have is they make it so doggoned hard to find the restrooms!
We have an IKEA four miles from our home - been there about three years now and I have yet to set foot into the store. I too have become SO anti-BIG BOX! Guess I just feel that if I don't like the concept then I'm not helping the cause by giving them my hard-earned money. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it."

In the meatime, my critical care RN neighbor shopped the IKEA for the first time about 2 months ago. She had a hypertensive crisis because once into the store she couldn't figure out how to get out. About three people have told me it is set up like a maze and they 'cleverly' "box you into their Big Box" leaving you feeling very trapped. Anyone else notice that who has shopped there?
Nope, I didn't feel trapped. I was sorry to leave and I'm anxious to go back.

It IS big, but didn't feel much like a box.

I DID get lost at the Mall of America right across the parking lot and nearly starved to death trying to find the food court. The only thing I purchased there was a very mediocre slice of pizza.
I think they are smart. Or atleast they outsmarted me. I now go into the store with a catlog and what I need. If not I could wonder around for a long time and buy lots. The first time I went there I spent four hours and spent about $300. I don't spend...if I can find it cheaper or free I will sniff it out.

That place got me coming and going. The only thing that gets me is the people who do the root backwards...they are the newbies! They can't steer the carts and they are going in reverse order....I could smack them!!!If you are out there and you here Follow the way it is set up no going the wrond way, This is not a joke you people get me all riled up. Stop going the wrong way you odd balls!!!!I can't take it, I got to go there late at night so all the tourist get out of the area and the normal follow directions people are only there.

Gosh I feel real better now.

Announcement 2 days ago:

IKEA founder overtakes Gates as world's richest:

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Ingvar Kamprad, the Swede who founded furniture retail chain IKEA, has overtaken Microsoft's Bill Gates as the world's richest man, Swedish TV news reported on Sunday.

Citing next week's edition of the Swedish business weekly Veckans Affarer, public service SVT2 television said Kamprad, 77, has a personal fortune of 400 billion crowns ($53 billion).

Gates's fortune is put at $47 billion, according to the latest list of the world's rich in U.S. Forbes magazine, SVT2 said.

Kamprad, known for frugal habits such as flying economy class, lives in Switzerland and no longer takes part in the daily running of IKEA, but has kept ownership of the company with more than 180 stores in over 30 countries in the family.

SVT2 said the dollar's slide against other currencies is the main reason why Kamprad has now overtaken Gates.
Hey Patrick-And all this time, I thought it was the other guys going the wrong direction LOL

It's a fun store that keeps my mind spinning

Sherry-If you ever do go, take off the blinders and enjoy the experience as if it were going on a field trip to a Museum or such

I'll bet you buy something

We all can stand to learn things that just might help our own businesses
Can't beat em....join em!
I sometimes wonder what the best poilcy is..? Stick to your guns and go broke or take a page or two from them..!
I don't know about Ikea or LaMarche..never heard of them before. But now that I have why not listen. Doesn't mean I have to turn my shop into a mini Ikea, does it?