The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal

How IKEA chopped, hollowed out and flattened its furniture to cut costs

By Trefor Moss

25 Apr 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

"How does that chair cost only $35?" Ikea's goal has always been to keep prices low. But with metal, glass, wood and plastic all rising in price, that has become much more difficult. The WSJ reports.

ÄLMHULT, Sweden—Amid IKEA’s colorful staged living rooms, piles of umlaut-laden housewares and endless rows of flat-pack boxes is furniture that can have shoppers wondering: How does that chair cost only $35?

IKEA grew into a furniture behemoth with a relentless focus on keeping costs low, but that goal has become more challenging. The price of metal, glass, wood and plastic have spiraled up, as have shipping costs. Inflation has squeezed consumers’ wallets. Managers at IKEA knew that something had to change to keep prices down and profits up, so in the past couple of years they have taken some of their products back to the drawing board.

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