The IKEA Shopping Experience

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It has been suggested that IKEA should open smaller stores in the American market in order to extend its reach and help it achieve growth in the US. This strategy is not recommended for IKEA. In order to understand why, the company's existing strategy needs to be understood. In the case, it was argued by an IKEA manager that the company is difficult to compete against because of the number of different things it does well. It would be easy for a company to imitate one or two of them, but it is difficult for any company to imitate all of them. IKEA's success, therefore, is largely based on the total package that it offers consumers. IKEA is not just a product, but it is an entire experience. This is what is known as an augmented product. The IKEA experience must be taken as a whole, not as simply the furniture that one walks out of the store with. Therein lies the value proposition of IKEA a low cost furniture store that delivers a unique and exciting shopping experience. The totality of the concept has tremendous value for consumers. There are parts of this package that simply do not translate to the smaller store concept. The IKEA shopping experience is an event. The size of the store is impressive, immediately signifying that it is not an ordinary shopping experience. It takes a couple of hours to work through an IKEA store, so much that many people eat at the restaurant there. The reason it takes so long is because of the layout. Consumer work through a large number of

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