Ikea was founded in 1943 and has been the world’s largest furniture retailer since 2008, with over 420 distinctive stores in more than 50 countries. It has a successful business model focused on offering stylish flat-pack furniture at affordable prices. There is a strong emphasis on containing costs across all parts of the business. In the UK, there are 27 Ikea stores, but expansion has now shifted from its big-box format to smaller store formats – urban, pick-up and pop-up. It is also aiming to further develop its consumer product range, particularly around smart home, and increase the automation of production and supply chain processes. Standard Ikea stores follow a one-way layout, leading customers counter-clockwise around the entirety of the store. Each Ikea store also features a restaurant serving traditional Swedish food. The furniture powerhouse was slow to launch its online offering but has focused on its ecommerce arm more as part of a transformation plan since 2018. This has included considerable investment in its click-and-collect services.

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