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The Local Connection

Is Ikea really a Swedish company with a local touch? Or is it a big anonymous global retailer? The founder lives in Switzerland. The head office is in the Netherlands. The owner is a Dutch foundation. Less than 10 percent of the employees work in Sweden. Sweden contributes only 7 percent of total sales and 5 percent of buying, and this will decrease even more in the future. In fact, with only 7 percent of sales coming from the home market, Ikea is probably one of the most international retail chains in the world.

So what gives Ikea its distinctively Swedish character? Three things in my opinion: the heritage, the values and management style, and the product range. This is backed up by the blue and yellow stores (the colors of the Swedish national flag) and the restaurants, which serve Swedish food.


  

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