“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.