Oooo! We’re getting an IKEA store!

It probably says something about how I’m getting older and more domesticated that I’m actually excited to learn about plans to open a new IKEA store in my city. News of this broke back in March, but I didn’t hear about it until it was mentioned on the news this morning in relation to a story about how the founder of the IKEA chain has surpassed Bill Gates as the richest man in the world.

Anyway, I have to admit that I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with the IKEA chain as I’ve never actually been to one. I’ve read about them here and there over the years, though, and in every state that has one it seems to draw customers from all over to shop there so that suggests it’s worth the trip. Looking at their website you can see that the style of furnishings they offer is rather simple and strike me as being somewhat like what visionaries in the 50’s thought the home of the future would look like. A kind of retro-modern look I suppose you could call it. I can’t explain why, but this style really appeals to me and every time I go to the website I find myself sitting there digging through stuff and going ‘Oooooooo! That’s nice!

So I’m all geeked this morning to find out that IKEA is coming to Michigan and will be setting up shop not two miles from where I live. Though by the time the store opens in 2006 I may actually be in a different place, I’m hoping it’ll be a house here in Canton. Amazing how such a silly thing can get you all wound up.

Update: OK, maybe we won’t be getting an IKEA anytime soon. According to Minx (aka Buzzkill Jones) word has it this isn’t official yet, but just a possibility. So I’m not as excited as I was. Dammit.

28 thoughts on “Oooo! We’re getting an IKEA store!

  1. Don’t get too excited, Les. I was just discussing this with my brothers this weekend, and they informed me that an Ikea spokesperson has pretty much said that while Canton is under consideration, it’s not been decided. Although I think they will end up doing it. Could be bad news for you though - traffic will go apeshit out that way!

  2. Found this at the atdetroit.net forums:

    There was an article (more of a blurb, really) in the Business section of this morning’s Freep stating that IKEA has no plans to build in Canton. I can’t find a link online, though.

    “A spokesman for …IKEA denied Friday that a decision has been made to open a store in Canton. Joseph Roth said a published report that IKEA had chosen the town for a 2006 opening was not true. ‘There’s been rumors of our going to Canton for the past three years,’ he said. While the company continues to scout locations in the Detroit area, no decisions have been made on a location or a timetable, Roth said.”

  3. Well, I have a few of those. The sofa I got is now more metal than wood, because I had to use a couple brackets [?] and flanges [?] to fix it after it broke apart under me for the second time (and I don’t weigh much). They use cheap wood…

    Then again - I still buy there, so they must be doing something right after all

  4. Oh sure, Minx, just go ahead and ruin my good mood for the day. My customers are going to love you when I explain why I’m so grumpy now.

    Ingolfson, I have to admit that I’d be leary of their couches and such, but some of the other stuff like the closet organizers and the bookcases and such look like they’d hold up pretty well. Can’t be any worse than some of the Sauder some-assembly-required furniture I have already. Still, I’d love to have a store nearby as another option and to at least take a look at what they have to offer.

  5. For some-assembly-required stuff, Ikea is pretty cool.  Lots of cheap decorating accessories, too. 

    Alas, Denver is off the distribution map as far as Ikea is concerned (Trader Joe’s, too).

    While you’re waiting, you can combine your Ikea eagerness with your L33T gaming skills here …

  6. Man, I love IKEA. I understand it’s not your top of the line stuff, but it has really pegged it’s target in the world.

    We bought a weekend condo this past winter, and had to paint, furnish, and buy appliances all at once. Basically setup another house. I don’t know about you guys but we don’t have THAT much disposable cash laying around. IKEA was perfect for some dressers in the bedroom, bathroom knicknacks, all that.

  7. My parents have quite a lot of Ikea furniture, this room alone has an Ikea bookshelf, computer table, monitor stand, swivel chair, bin and desklamp. It’s cheap and reasonable quality, and the nearest store isn’t too far from here.

    When my cousin and her husband bought their house about 4 years ago, just about all of their furniture came from Ikea since there was very little they could bring through from their old house.

  8. Hey, just so you know…  Remember that whole GayMafia stuff?

    There be a well-placed (and high-placed) employee of their America division who is, well, you know, “part of the Family.” 

    One more reason to buy as much Ikea as possible.

    .rob adams

  9. I was so excited for you for a minute. About a year ago I heard a rumor that there was going to be one built in Troy. I say don’t believe anything until ground is broken.

  10. IKEA’s bookshelves are great.  I think their secret in general is that they are Good Enough for the Price, and they’re inoffensive in design.  They’re neutral enough to go with anything else you might buy or inherit at that general price level.  If you start collecting Queen Anne, of course, it starts clashing, but by then you don’t need their stuff any more.

  11. I’d say GeekMom nailed it.  IKEA stuff is reasonably priced and reasonably decorative—a definite step above bricks-and-boards and post-graduate hand-me-downs or assembly-required crap from Walmart.

    And it’s decent enough looking that you can upscale by pieces as money permits, rather than having to toss out the whole kit-and-kaboodle.

  12. I have tons o IKEA around here (home and work). I think the great thing is that you can find a wide range of price and quality there. Not everything is as cheap as you might think, but the more expensive stuff is made better. After walking through the maze of rooms setup to show the furniture, you get to the real treat of the marketplace section where they keep all the nick-nacks. That’s where you loose track of time and fill a cart.

  13. Heard of the news report that the ‘owner’ of IKEA is the world’s richest person at 53 billion based on this particular report? Although forbes magazine is rejecting its mean of calculation. The problem is IKEA is a privately owned company so its valuation is a bit difficult.

    Here is the article:

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/04/06/news/newsmakers/worldswealthiestupdate/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Who’s really the world’s richest?

    One suspect report gave the crown to the founder of IKEA. But Gates and Buffett still rule.
    April 6, 2004: 7:31 PM EDT
    By Les Christie, contributing writer

    New York (CNN/Money) - Is Bill Gates still the world’s wealthiest person?

    On Sunday, April 4, the Reuters news service published a story crediting IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad with a fortune of more than $53 billion, exceeding Gates’s $46.6 billion net worth.

    The story was based on a Swedish TV news report, which in turn cited a soon-to-be-released article from Veckans Affarer, a Stockholm-based business weekly.

    By Monday, April 5, the piece had been called into question. IKEA spokeswoman Marianne Barner stated strongly that the report was just wrong, according to the Associated Press.

    She contended that the magazine simply estimated the value of the entire company and assigned it all to Kamprad. But the founder hasn’t fully owned IKEA since 1982, when he donated ownership to the Dutch Stichting INGKA Foundation.

    So in IKEA’s corporate eyes, Kamprad doesn’t control as many shares as the report’s author, Bo Petterssen, says he does.

    The status and nature of the IKEA Group—particularly the role the foundation plays—are disputed among experts in Sweden, Petterssen allows. But he argues that Kamprad still controls the company and employees still call him the owner.

    “They’re trying to separate power and formal ownership,” says Petterssen. “But Kamprad is still active. He’s the chairman of the charity.”

    Difficult valuations
    Besides arguing that Kamprad controls more of IKEA than is commonly supposed, Petterssen contends that the privately held company is much more profitable than most people think. “Last year they had more than $2 billion in earnings,” he says.

    He arrived at his estimate of Kamprad’s personal fortune by using that earnings figure and assigning it a p/e multiple of 25, comparable to what a publicly traded company of similar size and growth would command.

    This implies that IKEA, if it were public, might have a market cap of more than $50 billion. If you interpret the firm’s ownership structure the way Petterssen does, the overwhelming majority of that wealth would be Kamprad’s.

    Luisa Kroll, a Forbes associate editor who helps put together the magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest people, stands by her estimate of Kamprad’s wealth, which Forbes pegs at $18.5 billion. That’s thirteenth on the list as of February 2004, but still far below Petterssen’s figure.

    She concedes, however, that it is quite difficult to estimate private wealth.

    “Information on private fortunes is so sketchy,” says Kroll. “Kamprad has several holding companies that own stakes in each other,” she points out, suggesting the Veckans Affarer analysis may have included incorrect “double counting” of assets.

    She says that Forbes also takes a more conservative valuation than did Petterssen. “He compares IKEA with public companies that we would not use,” she says. In addition, he did not take out a percentage for charitable contributions the foundation made outside of the company.

    Kamprad’s assets have grown steadily in dollar terms, Kroll notes. “We even thought he might slip into the top ten this year,” she says, “but not up to number one.”

    Maybe it’s Buffett
    The report of a decline in Gates’ relative standing did perhaps contain a kernel of ironic truth. A new coronation was the right idea; the Swedes just picked the wrong ascendant to the throne.

    Forbes handicaps the wealth stakes almost continuously, according to Kroll. While the published rankings are based on where each individual’s wealth stands on a specific date (February 6 this year), each fortune varies with every up or downtick of the stock market.

    In Gates’s case, that means because his Microsoft holdings fell by about 4.5 percent between February 6 and April 2, his assets could have been reduced to somewhere around $45 billion.

    Meanwhile, the stock of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, rose about 4.4 percent. Buffett was already second on the Forbes list at $42.9 billion, and the vast bulk of his assets are in the form of Berkshire stock. The gains in Berkshire’s price may have pushed Buffett’s wealth above $45 billion.

    “For a few minutes on Friday (April 2),” says Kroll, “Buffett may have passed Gates.”

    In any event, the two men are now almost certainly running neck and neck.

    If Buffett does overtake Gates this year and hold the lead until next February, it would mark the first second-place finish for Gates since 1997, when the software tycoon lost out to the Sultan of Brunei.

    Wherever Gates winds up next February, he should retain one distinction for a very long time.

    When Microsoft stock peaked in 1999, Gates had assets of more than $90 billion. That means he has lost about $45 billion, more money than anyone in history.

  14. hi
    ikea sucks.
    On Sunday, April 4, the Reuters news service published a story crediting IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad with a fortune of more than $53 billion, exceeding Gates

  15. Hi Les
    I think you are better off without an ikea.
    Ikea is to furniture stores like MacDonalds is to restaurants: The lowest common denominator!
    The stuff is mostly cheap&nasty rather than cheap&cheerful,but having said that i do own some ikea glasses since they cost less than plastic cups.
    As for the stuff that isn’t crap, I can usually find an equivalent somewhere else that is either cheaper or of better quality or both. It’s just that I have to runaround more and maybe I won’t get the table from the same place as the chairs but at least my home retains some individuality. Ikeas great for poverty stricken students though and you know that you’ve grown up when at last you get to throw out the sofabed on which you spent so much time suffering hangover when you should have attended your lectures.

    ps hope you get better soon (wrong thread but hey so what?)

  16. Why do I keep reading about Ikea on blogs? And why is this guy who owns it now richer than Billy Gates?  Is it a northern thing? I’ve never herad of them….

  17. How long will God taunt me with these endless sporadic promises of an Ikea sprouting not just in the Detroit area, but smack in my grocery/home despot shopping area? Aside from elevating my access to Mimimalistic Design, it will also provide one of the best restaurants in my bon vivant-deprived area; few commentators acknowledge Ikea’s low-cost superior food court. With an Ikea nearby, I will surely dip in regularly just for the food. I find it sad—but spot-on appropriate—that the store that brings advanced (ie, minimalistic) design would recieve rebuff from suburban gatekeepers. Related articles chronicle that Troy, Mi’s city officials objected to Ikea’s bright blue-and-yellow box ediface. These same people of course hail the ersatz classical look-alike housing units that compose our subburban subdivisions.

  18. As an IKEA worker I can tell you they {management} couldn’t care less about the customer or the worker on the frontline,infact the little worker is the meat in the sandwich between the customer and management,so “powerless” is an understatement.These are the workers that hate IKEA.The workers that write all the “IKEA is great” stories are either management,who can more or less hide from the customer or break the rules to get rid of the customer who is making it difficult for them.
    That’s how it is in Australia,anyway and seems to be no differrent anywhere else by the looks.Just Google “IKEA SUCKS"or “I HATE IKEA” or “Ingvar Kamprad+Nazi"and you’ll have hours of interesting reading.
    Infact I could go on for hours,too.
    The bottom line at IKEA is the $$$$$$
    but they want to squeeze that from the Co-worker by paying them as little as they can and the customer by making them do as much of the work as possible.
    I’m amazed customers keep coming back to be treated like this,workers need to pay the bills but what’s the customers excuse,it’s not as though it’s great furniture.
    (why do you think Ingvar is the richest man in the world ?…yes…yes…we know you’re not the richest man in the world Ingvar…yes…and together we save…and IKEA cares for the planet…but really the only true words you have ever spoken is and I quote…“Most things remain to be done”…well at IKEA they sure do.

    I hope you get reincarnated as a customer service co-worker who has to take shit from the worst customers you could imagine and you have to abide by your own companies’stupid rules…in other words rot in hell.

  19. The bottom line at IKEA is the $$$$$$   What a shocker that a company is operated to make money.

  20. What a shocker that a company is operated to make money.

    What a shocker that a company might treat the employees in the trenches like expendable cannon fodder.

  21. What a shocker that a company might treat the employees in the trenches like expendable cannon fodder.

    I know.  I never ever hear complaints from entry level employees at companies that employ more than the owner.  What was I thinking?  I should have my IWW card revoked.

  22. Now that Ikea has opened (just around the corner from my home) and I have visitted a few times, I now hereby retract most of my enthusiasm. I now regard Ikea as containing far less of what I consider to be “good design” than I had first concluded after two trips to the Chicago store. I believe that my initial enthusiasm must have derived merely from the abject dearth of sensible, modern design in the Detroit area. Just seeing *any* of it at the Chicago store must have overwhelmed my judgement.

  23. I’ve not had a chance to stop by the store yet so I can’t really say much either way. I’m not expecting it to be a near-religious experience like walking into Best Buy is for me, but I’m still curious to check it out.

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