The Swedish furniture store considers stand-alone restaurants, as Balenciaga seems to knock off Ikea’s popular big blue bag
How Swede it is to be Ikea this week.
Soon the affordable furniture box store that’s a favorite for college dorms and first apartments could be dishing more than just cheap cookware and Färgrik mugs. The Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns that have become a guilty pleasure for shoppers at the company’s in-store cafeterias could be expanding into stand-alone cafes.
Ikea’s food division, which also includes pre-packaged foods like jars of herring, preserves and pastries, is doing so well that the company is considering expanding into Ikea restaurants at city centers, Fast Company reported.
Banking on meatballs sounds like a sure bet. The company serves some 650 million diners globally a year, adding up to around $1.8 billion in sales in 2016. And almost one-third of Ikea customers actually come in the stores just to eat, not to shop. But it took the company a minute to realize it had a gourmet goldmine on its hands, since food sales are a comparatively small piece of the $36.5 billion pie the brand earned last year.
“This might sound odd, but it’s almost something we didn’t notice,” Michael La Cour, Ikea Food’s managing director, told Fast Company. “But when I started putting the numbers into context of other food companies, suddenly I could see, well, it really is not that small.”
Ikea also might want to consider foraying into fashion. French luxury design brand Balenciaga showed a $2,145 Arena Extra-Large Shopping Tote made of wrinkled blue leather on its Spring/Summer 2017 runway that’s almost identical to Ikea’s signature Frakta tote that’s a fraction of the price at 99 cents.
Balenciaga makes $2000 bag that's an "homage" to the IKEA shopping bag and I'm like fashion you're crazy but I can't quit you. pic.twitter.com/wLIhmjmfy2
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) April 18, 2017
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. “We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the Ikea iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!” Ikea told the “Today” show.
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