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Study Visit and Workshop at IKEA

IKEA's retail club visited IKEA Global Unit in Malmö. The theme for the day was the global shopping experience.

In the beginning of the study visit and workshop Lars-Erik Fridolfsson (HR Manager at IKEA) showed us around the office and explained their free seating concept. During the tour he explained that it is a shift right now at the office and that they are seeking new intelligence. Many of the people who is currently working at IKEA have worked there for a long time, but during the upcoming two years IKEA is seeking hundreds of new people with a more technical experience.

Later on Mårten Lundholm (Customer Shopper Experience Specialist) held a presentation about the Global Shopping Experience and about how to serve the customers today. He introduced the presentation by explaining that IKEA is not moving forward as much as they want to, that’s why it is a good time for a change and to hiring new knowledge and intelligence. He also explained as Lars-Erik did earlier that 7500 jobs all over the world is being replaced. It is going to be a massive redistribution in order to survive and that is why this is a necessary move for IKEA.

Furthermore, Mårten informed us
about the 2.3 million visitors IKEA 
has online and what massive impact
 they have on the market today. Many malls have been shut down because of the online shoppers and to be able
 to keep track with the customers’ new needs, IKEA needs to be more
 flexible in order to survive. To be
able to survive Mårten explained the
 difference of change vs
 transformation. He explained that change is like a bear that goes into his cave during the winter to get stronger and stronger but then he eventually dies anyways. That is why it is important to not be too comfortable and think that you know it all but instead be able to change. Transformation was explained like a butterfly, their life's never go back to what they were, instead they leave and take the risk of transforming. The risk with transforming can be that you will forget about the companies’ main vision and strategy, there is a risk of getting to creative and loose track. IKEA needs to have the mindset of how they are behaving and how the customers perceive them in order to survive - they need to be relevant.

Later on we discussed two questions:

1. If you were the new CEO of IKEA what would be your number one priority to address? 

2. To continue IKEA's success what other companies/organizations should we learn from and why? 

Sofia Segerfors & Lovisa Wilhelmsson, Key Account Mangers IKEA's Retail Club

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