Staying Inspired with IKEACountry Focus
Well into the third year of its expansion in this Southeast Asian nation, the Swedish furnishing company IKEA continues to gain a stronghold of loyal and dedicated customers. After all, there’s nothing not to love at IKEA with its endless collections of effortless, stylish and purposeful products at affordable prices. These days, it’ll be a challenge to find an urban household in Indonesia that doesn’t own an IKEA item.
In October 2014, IKEA opened its first ever store in Indonesia, displaying in a massive building more than 8,000 products, 55 smart room settings and three complete homes. Since then, the premise—which stands at more than 35,000 square meters in Alam Sutera, Tangerang—has been a favorite go-to shopping destination for hundreds of thousands of keen customers. Many are loyal fans who in the past would have gone abroad to scout for IKEA items in neighbouring Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand.
“It all starts with our philosophy. Our business idea is to create a better everyday life for many people, and in this case, the people of Indonesia. In our store, we want to show our customers what can be done with IKEA products visually. We want to inspire them to experiment with home furnishings so they can have space to show their personality,” says Mark Magee, General Manager of IKEA Indonesia.
For IKEA, it may be mission accomplished thus far, but the company will not stop short there.
Today, the world’s largest furnishing company boasts 389 stores in 48 countries and promises that the number will steadily increase. With major expansions and innovative ideas on the pipeline, customers can expect to be pleasantly surprised.
“We recently launched online sales, mostly consisting of furniture for customers who live in the Greater Jakarta area. By the end of the year, we’re planning to expand the product range so all IKEA products can be purchased online. At the end of October, we’ve also launched IKEA business offer to help small and medium-sized companies to design their premises. Next year, we will expand our distribution to other major cities in Java like Bandung and Surabaya, and we also plan to expand the store network as we are currently looking for new sites,” Magee continues.
For starters, look for the items recently featured on its 2017 catalogue, which includes approximately 40 percent of all the product ranges currently available in the store.
They keyword in explaining IKEA success in Indonesia, as elsewhere in the world, seems to be its distinctively Scandinavian design.
“The vision of IKEA is to maintain the distinct Scandinavian design that is inspired by the Nordic countryside. Our design principles are defined by simple style, clean lines, white and light colours. We are young, fresh and modern, which is appealing to many people, from the youth to families with children and even older people, and I think this is what makes IKEA different,” says Magee.
The design process at IKEA follows a creed known as The Democratic Design, which comprises five principles.
“The first one is form. We believe that every product should have a great form in a beautiful and innovative design to reflect the classic IKEA. The second is function. Every product has to function correctly, leading us to the third value, quality. For IKEA, quality is everything. We want to offer low-price products but maintain high quality. The fourth principle is sustainability. We live on a planet with limited natural resources, so everything that IKEA does has to be sustainable. For example, our wood products only come from well-managed forests, meaning that all the woods we use can be regrown which is very important for our planet. So all IKEA products have to pass the sustainability test and it applies to every level of the product. And the last principle is the best low price because in the end, that is what the customers want,” says Magee.
But it isn’t just the design principles that are crucial to the designers at IKEA. Just as important is the ability to appreciate the uniqueness of each culture—what works in European homes may not be compatible in Indonesian homes and vice versa. In order to better understand its market, three times a year, IKEA Indonesia sends out a management team to visit the homes of local average family. Their trips have resulted in some very interesting findings—from classic storage problems to the placements of refrigerators and washbasins.
“These details are very important for us to learn, as we want customers who walk into our store to have an Aha! moment, as they get ideas on how to decorate their homes regardless of type and size,” says Magee.
Thanks to the brand’s knack for details and great design, rest assured you’ll feel inspired the next time you pick up an IKEA catalogue or walk into its store.
IKEA Alam Sutera
Jl. Jalur Sutera Boulevard No. 45
Alam Sutera, Serpong, Tangerang
T: +62-21 29853900
Open daily from 10.00 – 22.00