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Image courtesy of IKEA, retrieved from RiverfrontTimes.com

IKEA Opens New Store in St. Louis


In September 2015, IKEA opened its first St. Louis location (Simpson and Madden, 2015). Months before that, my father-in-law found a new career as a warehouse manager in the soon-to-open Scandinavian furniture and homegoods store, originally founded in Sweden.

Having come off recent employment from the American variety store Family Dollar, a job which threatened the health and wellbeing of my father-in-law through unmanageable amounts of stress, it was immediately obvious how different the workplace culture was, and how much better off my father-in-law really was.

I originally intended to focus my bi-weekly regional update on Scandinavia, but because of this connection right here in America, I decided to focus in on Sweden itself.

Obviously, IKEA is not the epitome of Swedish culture in Americaonly my personal connection to it—but its business model is different from the norm in America and worth a closer look. "IKEA customers play an important role in what we call our democratic design process: We do our part, you do your part, together we save money" (Ikea.com). The concept is very Swedish, where compromise and consensus are key (Sweden.se).

I hope my fellow classmates can learn from and contribute to my thoughts and ideas regarding Swedish business culture. Learn more on the Swedish Business Culture page.

References

The IKEA concept: Doing it a different way. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/this-is-ikea/the-ikea-concept/index.html

Simpson, A. and Madden, R. (September 30, 2015).The wait is over! IKEA opens in Midtown St. Louis. Retrieved from http://fox2now.com/2015/09/30/ikea-grand-opening-today-in-st-louis/

Swedish Institute. (2016). Taking care of business in Sweden. Retrieved from https://sweden.se/business/taking-care-of-business-in-sweden/