IKEA opens in Japan
"Small-space living will be a characteristic throughout the entire store," said Tommy Kullberg, the head of IKEA's Japan division. "We have visited hundreds of homes, and really gone through in detail how the Japanese live, how they cook, how they sleep."
It is that kind of meticulous preparation that has helped the company grow from a one-man venture in a small Swedish village to a global phenomenon with an almost cult-like following.
Today there are more than 230 IKEA stores in 33 countries, and sales have more than tripled in the last decade, to euro 14.8 billion (US$18.3 billion) in 2005.
Mainichi has more details here.
IKEA's Japanese website is here, with an online catalogue... I have so many nostalgic memories related to that catalogue. While growing up it was always great fun to flip through its cleverly designed pages, imagining what kind of furniture to choose. Nice to see it in Japanese, but actually, I live with almost no furniture these days, as I prefer the "empty" and uncluttered look.
I don't see anything about corporate social responsibility on IKEA's Japanese website. I would certainly hope that they take environmental concerns into account as they aim to make profit in Japan. IKEA's English material about CSR is good, but needs to be updated for their Japanese customers.