How IKEA Came Up With the Idea to Have Customers Assemble Their Own Furniture

Phil Edwards, who works as a senior video producer for Vox, took to his personal channel to explain how IKEA came up with the unique business model of having customers assemble their own furniture at home.

In doing so, he talked about the founders of the company, who in 1948 began making their own furniture that they sold in flat packs helped to keep down costs all around. When they brought their product to a trade fair in 1950, their low cost and lack of middle got them banned from the national Swedish market. Rather than this peer-led boycott working against them, the low-cost, self-assembly model took hold in the public eye.

By 1957, Sweden’s national Price and Cartel  commission even came out against poor little Ikea. But wherever there was a loophole to this  furniture supplier’s boycott, Ikea would find it. Some furniture suppliers were  limited by their contracts. …That loophole led  to them designing their own furniture, which led  to them designing the flat pack, which led to you  in your house trying to assemble Ikea furniture.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.