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Ikea to enter home electronics market

Ikea to enter home electronics market

Published: 17 Apr 2012 10:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Apr 2012 10:44 GMT+02:00

Swedish electronics chains, already battling a sinking market, will be forced to compete on a whole new scale as Swedish furniture giant Ikea launches plans to enter the market with a new range of furniture with built-in electronics.

“We have great expectations for this. I think we can step in and create a new market, a new way to use home electronics in the living room,” said Tolga Öncu, sales manager for Ikea Sweden, to news agency TT.

According to Ikea, the start will be a range of living room furniture called Uppleva -- a Swedish word which means 'Experience' in English -- designed to house a built-in TV and home cinema system.

“With this integrated audio-visual piece we can offer attractive, wireless and affordable solutions to our many customers. Uppleva is an innovative step into a new market for Ikea,” Öncu said in a statement.

However, according to Jonas Arnberg, a consultant at HUI Research, (formerly the Swedish Retail Institute), Ikea’s new venture was unexpected.

“It is a business where none of the main operators are doing particularly well. What everyone is waiting for is one to disappear and instead another enters the race,” he told TT.

Arnberg does not think that Ikea's foray into home electronics will do as well as the Swedish retailer's venture into the white goods market has done.

“If it is indeed possible that Ikea underestimates something, this might be it. This is an incredibly tough business, “said Arnberg to TT.

Ikea is set to start selling their furniture with built in electronics in five countries in June. The products will then be launched globally in 2013.

TT/Rebecca Martin

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

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Your comments about this article

11:43 April 17, 2012 by xkiran
Hummm.... I guess now it's time for Apple and Samsung to get into furniture business too. ;)
12:55 April 17, 2012 by JerseyTjej
If they are able to source electronics as well as they do furniture, I would give it a shot. The only way the prices will become competitive is if Sweden begins to manufacture which ain't gonna happen.
14:37 April 17, 2012 by joshr
When Ikea rebranded Westinghouse/Whirlpool dishwashers, no problem - the underlying companies will support them with spare parts for years to come, but now when you go to Ikea, it all their own brand dishwashers and ovens - where do you go for spare parts? Ikea has great reputation for abandoning products and making things that don't last so long. I wouldn't touch their own brand of anything that plugs into a wall outside of simple lights.

It's really hard to make money in electronics - many companies, but retailers and manufacturers, fail to make money - just look at Dixon's, Best Buy, On Off, Sony, etc. and these companies already have very advanced supply chains. Ikea doesn't bring anything to the table here.

Fail... Just wait a few years and this will go the way of inflatable furniture.
16:33 April 17, 2012 by Svensksmith
Assembly will be a b1tch!
00:39 April 18, 2012 by mibrooks27
If it's Scandinavian made and not Chinese junk, I'll buy anything they sell.
07:20 April 18, 2012 by ImminentLeo
@joshr

I bought our kitchen appliances though IKEA recently. They are exactly the same models as previously with Whirlpool ect, just the Whirlpool logo taken off the front. Spare parts are still available, and they have 5 year warrantee. I have had no problems.
08:00 April 18, 2012 by skogsbo
joshr, the above is correct. I've changed a kitchen door after 4years under their 5yr guarantee, because the heat from the dishwasher took the paint off it. I can keep changing it every 4years! Most other parts of the kitchen has an even longer guarantee. You can buy other brands, but will that company be in business as long as the guarantee will last? The quality of their kitchen stuff, ovens, microwaves etc.. is quite high, they may sell tens of thoudands, but if they get too much bad press like MFI, they would go the same way. It's like those technica tvs Tesco used to shift when I lived in the UK, the screens are samsung, you need to look beyond the brand sticker at the detail to see what you are really getting.
14:57 April 18, 2012 by EP
@mibrooks27 are you prepared to pay 7 times more for it?
16:19 April 18, 2012 by Pakistani_Student
great news
18:51 April 18, 2012 by joshr
@ImminentLeo

Just wait until year six on your dishwasher... 2000 kr in so far (new circulation pump, new plastic piece). Of three of my friends with the same whirlpool/Ikea dishwasher, two of them have problems as well - one with the buttons (thin layer of plastic on top breaking) and one with circulation pump problems.

I previously thought Whirlpool was a reasonably good brand, but I have my doubts now... And the replacement pump seems to be total garbage compared to the original - noisier and weighs 75% less.

But at least you can get parts :)

If it is Whirlpool under the hood, at least advertise it somewhere rather than hide it. Whatever people think of the brand, they know that they can get spare parts for it.
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