IKEA was founded in 1943 by Swedish businessman Ingvar Kamprad as a mail-order catalog business. The company is best known for selling affordable flat-pack furniture, but it also sells home accessories and kitchen appliances. Today, IKEA offers approximately 9,500 products across 445 stores in 52 countries. With such broad reach, IKEA is not immune to competition.
Amazon’s recently launched Stone & Beam furniture brand is a serious threat to IKEA. The company offers a wide range of furniture with many products arriving already assembled.
Amazon also offers free shipping on their products which gives the company a significant advantage over IKEA.
Wayfair is the largest online shopping platform for home furnishings, décor, and appliances in the United States.
It offers more than ten million items from over 10,000 suppliers, allowing it to capture 4.4% of the US furniture market. Indeed, a core competitive advantage of Wayfair is the diversity of their product range.
Wayfair, like Amazon, has taken advantage of a general shift to buying furniture online and significantly increased market share.
Walmart also offers a large range of furniture and home décor that is budget-friendly. This includes in-house brands and a selection of products from other brands.
The company has made a significant investment in its eCommerce offering, Walmart+. The affordability and reach of the retail giant make it a significant player in global furniture sales.
Walmart has a proven track record in gaining a competitive advantage. It does this by reducing production costs, carrying certain costs, and providing bargain-basement prices.
Tesco is another supermarket retail giant that is adding an increasing number of furniture products to its range.
Although headquartered in the United Kingdom, Tesco has expanded into other parts of Europe and Asia. It offers a range of homeware products including furniture and other household essentials.
Tesco is generally seen as a company that offers an important mix of high-quality furniture, good customer service, and affordable pricing.
Williams Sonoma is a retailer with a long and proud history of selling furniture in the United States.
For over 60 years, the company has been selling home furniture and cookware in over 650 stores. The company has also expanded beyond the United States, selling furniture in 60 countries under brand names such as Pottery Barn.
Williams Sonoma has become so successful that it was included on the Fortune 500 list in 2019.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore
Ashley Furniture HomeStore is a relatively new competitor to IKEA, having only been founded in 1997.
However, the company has quickly risen to be a market leader for furniture revenue in the United States.
Importantly, Ashley Furniture HomeStore is both an owner of furniture stores and a manufacturer of furniture products. With more control over manufacturing and distribution, the company may become a serious global threat if it can replicate its success outside of North America.
- IKEA operates 445 stores in 52 countries offering 9,500 products. Its diverse product range and broad geographical reach puts it up against a range of worthy competitors.
- Tesco and Walmart are two IKEA competitors that use economies of scale derived from their respective supermarket divisions to reduce costs.
- In the lucrative North American market, Wayfair and Williams Sonoma are powerful, established brands.
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