Documentary series about IKEA. In episode three, we follow the company's biggest challenge in a generation - pushing into India with an aggressive expansion plan.
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Where are you going? It's not there. There is the beginning of the shop.
I'm completely lost.
Love it or loath it,
the world's largest furniture shop has shaped the way we live.
As soon as you're in, you can't get out, can you?
Just spend and spend and spend, really.
Founded in 1943, Ingvar Kamprad established Ikea as a global
brand before his recent death at the age of 91.
His unique approach to business still guides staff today.
I've always seen Ikea as more of a movement than a company.
For the first time in its 75-year history, Sweden's most famous
export has granted our cameras worldwide access.
We filmed the £34 billion operation over
the course of a year...
It's a big machine and it needs to be fed.
..following their rapid global expansion...
We're just entering one of the biggest markets in the world,
and I think that we're writing some history, actually.
..discovering what it takes for a
new product to make it to the shelves...
I wanted to do a cot and a coffin,
so I approached Ikea with that idea,
and they just said, "No, you're joking."
..and learning the secrets of how it became one of the largest
and most influential companies in the world.
It is creativity versus commercialism,
and finding that beautiful balance.
So, welcome to Sweden.
Ikea have invited a select group of journalists from India
for a two-day trip to Almhult.
I'm terribly sorry for the cold weather.
But you can always buy blankets in Ikea.
We have a store not far from here, so let's see what we can do.
They are announcing the launch of their brand into one
of the most lucrative markets in the world.
We have very ambitious plans of stepping into many
places in India and learning how to become a good retailer,
so we will try to facilitate
and help you with all questions you have during the trip.
What's been a top seller?
The top seller in Ikea is the blue bag.
You know, the Ikea shopping bag, actually.
It seems that nothing beats that product, yeah?
OK. Let's see.
With a budget of £1.3 billion,
they plan to open 25 stores across India in under a decade.
How will you keep that aggressive pricing very low in India?
Because India is a very price-sensitive market.
I can say, to start with, we have a long-term view on pricing.
From the first store, it's just the starting point,
but when we get up to some 25 stores in India,
we will have bigger volumes,
we have more opportunities to actually achieve it.
I work with Zee Business, and we're recording a show on how Ikea
might change shopping experience, home furnishing in India,
like the way Uber did, the taxi service, in India.
It could be big if competent prices
because in India they're not used to having really cheap
furniture that could be assembled and dismantled.
So tell me, really,
about what significance India plays to the global plans here at Ikea.
It's a great opportunity for us, but it's also a lot of challenges.
How do we reach the many people within their wallets,
how do we facilitate needs that are unique, and so on?
So we think not only is India a market for us to sell or retail,
but it's a market to learn.
One has to understand the consumer's mindset.
How exactly would you be relevant to the consumer?
So our consumers, we are about 1.5 billion people,
so are you going to be relevant to a certain audience, and if yes,
how exactly are you going to be relevant to that audience?
The challenge of making sure the Ikea brand is relevant to the
Indian market has been given to Mia Lundstrom.
So now we're going into India,
and I'm working there as the creative director, and people
really need good products to make their everyday life much better.
So I think the potential is enormous.
I don't think that we understand what we're getting into,
it feels sometimes.
The first of the 25 stores is being built in Hyderabad.
But launching in a new territory is not just about building blue boxes.
When you first sort of come there, you think, "Oh, my God.
"We're going to have a car accident within ten minutes."
Mia has been living in India for three years,
working with a team to conduct extensive research to fully
understand the Indian market before they open.
So, today we're going to go to KR Market.
Digging down a little bit deeper in people's lives
and getting a little bit closer to them.
Looking at what people are buying
and seeing how much more critical they are.
Critical in that they want the best, they want to have the best price.
They're very price-conscious in India.
Two bunches, OK? How much?
-For two bunches?
The red, the pink and orange is really, really big here in India.
Just look at that man there. Look at the colour he's wearing.
It's absolutely fabulous.
Just getting red plastic, you know, stacked...
Stacked like that.
Well, maybe trying to influence Ikea to pick more colours.
We've been a little bit sort of white and beige
and grey lately, and it's, you know, been a trend.
This is so lovely.
The world needs colour.
Ah, thank you so much.
Ikea. Ikea bag on the market.
I think this is great inspiration.
I take from this that simplicity rules, you know.
When you have less means and work with less material,
it becomes just beautiful.
Hey. How are you?
It's a beautiful sofa set you have there.
What's the covers made from?
Across town, Mia's colleague Chris Cartledge is investigating
the type of furniture locals spend their money on.
It feels that the really dark wood is the most popular, yeah?
And everything feels really ornate.
Let's have a look at some of these wardrobes.
I know in India, solid, heavy furniture is really popular.
Solid wood in India is famous, is popular, is the teak wood.
-The teak? And that's another solid wood.
Solid wood and natural grains.
And it tends to be the really ornate finish, so it's very traditional.
-How do you think the customer would feel about European furniture?
If, for example, this wardrobe came in white or a crazy
colour like red, how would the customer feel?
-So coordination's really important.
So it would be a crazy customer that would come in here
and say, "Give me a red wardrobe."
The concept of bright, Scandinavian-style furniture
is going to be so, so new to the Indian people.
If we look at our prices in Sweden and in Europe in general, yes.
They are higher than the average here in India,
but then we can use supply in India and use the materials,
use our supply chain to make sure that we can be competitive.
The tricky part is to know
whether we're going to be right on the price levels.
You can't go around and watch the pricetags.
It's all negotiable and so it's super hard.
What happens when price is not right, people won't buy.
Yeah, it could be a challenge,
but it's just to be aware about it when we're entering a market
and have respect for the way people shop and the way people behave
so that we don't come in here and think that we know everything
and that whatever we do is the best.
Has Ikea done that before?
I mean, we have done that in a few markets before, both to Russia
and China, where behaviours are different.
And we had to rethink.
So over here we really need to do it right from the beginning.
Yeah, we have learned our lessons.
While Mia and her team are learning all about the Indian market,
back in Almhult,
the Indian journalists are learning all about the Ikea experience.
No, but what section is this, then?
This is just like a setup.
So you'll have to go downstairs and then go and get it.
Wait, OK. I can follow the arrows on the floor.
For many of them, it's their first time in a blue box.
Hopefully will guide me to the exit.
No, but then this is a setup section, but they are...
No, you can't buy it from here.
You'll have to go to the light section.
Where is the light section?
There is no light section. There is no light section.
I think lights are downstairs.
I'm finding it really nice.
My mother is also now calling because she's like, "Buy this,
"buy this, and buy that."
So, yeah, I'm making a call to my mother.
This is absolutely an impulse buy. Why?
My house is filled with cushions. Why would one need more?
This is an impulse buy.
I normally don't do impulse buying, but in a place like this,
one is forced to.
Lots of little knickknacks for my nephew.
And then I've got a floor lamp,
which we still don't have at a very good price point in India.
Oh, I love it. I love the experience.
I love just drowning myself in shopping,
and I'm going round in circles.
And this is not helping.
Yeah, first time.
And some colour palettes that I've never seen anywhere else.
..this, for instance.
Yeah? It will look really nice on my balcony.
We are missing one of our colleagues because she got
so busy with shopping
that she didn't realise that it's time for bus to go.
I got lost. I was just roaming around in circles for half an hour.
It could be that this thing that I sit here
and do now goes around the globe
and hits millions and millions of homes.
To design for Ikea, it's tough in a way
because we have to design for all the people all around the world.
With the things I do here and the things my colleagues do, and
I think that's the tough bit, to hit the market, what the people want.
Andreas Fredriksson is one of 12 in-house designers charged
with creating 2,000 new products every year.
This tray is a tray that is extremely flat pack, as you can see.
You know Ikea is all about that.
This one was in a collection that in the end of the day if you transport
a lot of this it's basically like transporting a solid piece of steel.
So it's a weight problem instead.
And so this one is a walking board I made for children's Ikea.
It kind of works like this, and you walk...
It's a kind of walking board kind of trick board
when you learn tricks for skateboard.
I used to make this when I was a kid because my mum didn't buy me
a skateboard. It was too dangerous.
Then I made this kind of stuff instead.
We do a lot of things here
and all the things doesn't go through to the store.
I had a few failures, absolutely.
And it's kind of when you like it
but for some reason it doesn't work out in the plan, then of
course it's a little bit like it's a pity because you like the product.
Andreas has developed a radical flat-pack sofa that uses
water-resistant material so it can be used both indoors and outdoors.
This is the weave. This is the piece of fabric...
..that I would like to replace all the springs and pocket springs
and everything that you have in a normal sofa.
So I'm just using a piece of fabric here.
Like that, so it just hangs.
And this one, you know, it just holds it, the fabric, really tense
with the whole width.
Even if I push right now, I can see that would work.
Yeah, I mean...
This is kind of a new way to make these kind of sofas,
so I never know.
We don't know how the Ikea customer will see this, you know.
Maybe they just think, "OK, that's a bit strange.
"Why do we have all these straps here?" I don't know.
But hopefully they find it really exciting. That's my hope.
If you think sofa, you don't think this.
So I really would like this to work.
That would be... That would be really nice, if it works.
How does Ikea judge success?
A very strong one is how much it sells.
Every part of Andreas' design needs to be agreed before it makes
it to the store.
Today, he's discussing his idea with the development team.
It's very nice that we actually managed to make a sofa knocked
down and to make it flat pack, which is very much the Ikea concept.
If we take this two-seater here, it would be possible for the
customer to carry a two-seater sofa like a handbag out of the store.
What do you think, Jerry, about the comfort?
This is a lot softer. I think that is more supportive.
And I like that quite a lot.
Jerry Svensson works as a middleman between the designers
and the business team.
So what's this?
This is the armrest that we...
You know, the drawings, when I presented the sofa, it's with this
-Is the comfort that you add by adding that extra cushion
-I kind of like it. I think it's more a complete product
when it's added, if I'm honest.
If we include it in the product,
if that means that we need to raise the price,
do we want to do that,
or should we then have the product more affordable?
So that needs to be decided as well.
Andreas will refine the design with Jerry and his colleagues
before it's pitched to the business team for final approval.
To have this, you know, you just put it like this,
you have it like a lumbar support, you know.
I really think it's something important to it.
So, yeah, definitely. I'm fighting for this.
Almhult is known as Ikea Town.
It's home to 2,500 employees, including Andreas
and his wife Jennifer -
a freelance designer for the firm.
-Right on time. How are you?
What's kind of unique about with Ikea is that for the in-house
designers, they're kind of their own bosses, really.
They just get on with it.
And it seems very nice in that way, but then you have to have...
You must deliver the goods.
Yeah, I have a project now that they said to me that, you know,
they want to see more of this and that, and I actually got
an e-mail today - "Oh, how is it going?" And I was like, "OK..."
"It's going great!"
But, of course, these days are really tough.
I'm coming home and I'm really exhausted.
Because that's a big thing about Ikea is that it can be tough.
I guess if it gets cancelled because it's a bad idea, then, OK,
it's a bad idea.
Just have to do better the next time.
I think you'd know.
-You would know.
I mean, OK, sometimes it happens, you know? OK, it doesn't work.
I mean, at the end of the day you are quite small in the company,
but the idea,
if you look at the idea and what we do,
it's a really big task that we have.
Just about to enter the area that we're going to completely
Darren Lancaster is overseeing a radical new marketing idea,
masterminded by a team in Almhult.
The in-store revolution is being trialled in a handful
of stores around the world, including Wembley.
One of the major changes you've got is we will not have this walkway.
And that's revolutionary,
cos we've had that walkway ever since we built stores.
But we're really, really challenging ourselves to say,
"What would it be if we took away this grey walkway that
"we have in all the stores, and have it free-flow?"
So these room sets will go.
We will not have the room sets along the natural walkway.
It will become a neighbourhood.
We will have three or four room sets
gathered together in a small little neighbourhood, and that, then,
is literally how the customers will connect to their life at home.
"I have a neighbour, I can see that front door. Ah! Now I get it.
"They really understand how I live."
You bet your life on it. I cannot wait!
It's something that's been in fruition for the past
five, six months. We've been planning. It's transformational.
Yep. I can make a difference. That's the big thing for me.
I don't need a badge that says I'm a manager.
We're all equal in Ikea. I just love it.
The new store layout will be inspired by
how people in the local area live.
So we're off on a home visit to go and find out some visual
insights into how our customers are really living in reality.
So when we're there,
we don't provide a solution or anything like that,
but we just take what the customer's saying, how they're living,
see what they've got going on in their homes,
and see if there's anything we can do in the store to improve it.
Rickylee Thompson is visiting a single mum and her son,
who live in a rented one-bedroom flat.
Hi, it's Ikea.
Ah, hello, hi! I'm Rickylee.
-Would you like us to take our shoes off?
-Er, no, no, feel free.
Oh, cool, thank you. So the main use of this space...?
Dropping bags off when we come in, and just keeping shoes.
Ikea have been doing home visits since they first came to the UK
in 1987, and ask everyone the same questions.
And where do you eat meals - breakfast, lunch, snacks?
Er, just here in the living room.
My son sits here, and then I... just kind of around there.
Do you invite friends and family over for meals?
If so, how many can comfortably sit down and eat at once?
No, I don't. There's not many that can fit in here.
The main challenges that we've kind of found from most of our
home visits is space, kind of to store goods,
and the rental market -
not being able to put anything on the walls really frustrates
our customers, cos they've got to take up their floor space.
But it's now down to us with these home visits to make sure
we provide really, really cool solutions
that customers will look at and go, "Oh, that's the solution I need."
Ikea conduct home visits all around the world.
Hi, how are you?
So far, Mia and her team have done more than 800 across India.
Home visits is really not only about the visit itself,
but it is to share the insights and the findings that we do,
that is so important.
But it is when you have the dialogue with people when you really find out
what they aspire for, what they dream of.
Looks so nice.
So many nice colours here on the walls.
How do you use the living room?
When you sit here, do you sit here and talk?
-Do you sit here and look at TV?
TV, yes. And we have dinner also here, sitting on the floor.
OK, you sit on the floor to have dinner?
Yeah, family together, and have a dinner here.
If you would like to do something a little bit different
in the living room, what would it be?
Oh, yeah, this is super nice.
Yeah, all the stainless steel and the shelf, hooks and...
-This is more accessibility, wouldn't you say?
-And here sleeps you and your wife?
-My wife, yes.
And the kids?
-Oh, they do?
-Yes. They won't come.
OK, so they go and sleep with their grandparents.
That's nice. And here's the famous...
I would say that nine out of ten Indian homes have a Godrej cabinet.
And Godrej is actually the brand, but it is a metal
lockable high cabinet that takes up a lot of space.
So in here, the space for kids.
I think it would be interesting to hear everyone in the family
saying something about, if I had 5,000 rupees to give you,
what they would dream to do about this money.
Could you ask everyone?
THEY SPEAK OWN LANGUAGE
-Yeah, firstly, she would spend for home.
What would your father like to improve if he had the chance?
HE SPEAKS OWN LANGUAGE
It was really lovely, really lovely meeting you.
And this beautiful home - very, very nice.
I just become emotional when I see how simple,
and how little people actually have.
And getting emotional also over all the unnecessary things that
we are surrounding ourselves with,
and of course, become a little bit philosophical about life in general.
You're not more than a human being, you know.
As someone said here in the home visit,
"No, I have everything I need.
"If I have a little bit of money over, I give it to my family
"and to my grandchildren."
When you start to interact with people, not just stuff...
..then things become much more emotional,
and much more interesting, actually.
I don't think that you ever get used to India.
There are so many things to learn.
No, but true.
And I am here for a reason, I wanted to challenge myself,
and I wanted to try to explore something else,
and also to contribute with Ikea knowledge to India.
And I love every minute.
But of course, there is days when I think, "What am I doing here?"
You know, it's...
It's tough sometimes.
I'm not married, I'm single.
Clara, my daughter, is grown-up.
She is studying at university in Sweden, and sometimes there is
some tears and longing for friends and family at home.
So this is Clara's room.
It's important to have a room for her when she gets here.
And also that...
I'm getting a little bit...
Whoops! I'm getting...
Sorry to be emotional.
OK, why did I get that?
I miss her, yeah.
I miss her.
This is that fabric that you developed, right?
-This is how it started.
Andreas is showing his design to friend and colleague
-You know, I really like it.
This is the best thing you have done, Andreas!
Is it the kind of...?
-What are you saying?
-This is the best design.
-The peak of my career?
Maybe we should have the pillow here. We have that on the...
-The side cushion?
-Yeah, it gives us some support.
I'm fighting for that.
-Yeah? It will come?
I personally think we should have one a little bit half high,
so we can get the armrest down. You get a better armrest, too.
It becomes so much nicer when it's here, you know?
Determined to keep the side cushion,
he's come up with a low-cost solution that uses the waste
from the material already used in the design.
It's a good argument, that it's not an added cost, so we...
I'm trying to find arguments,
not just to say, "I want that side cushion," you know.
Basically, this is two pieces from the left over
when the supplier cuts the big cushions.
Now it will look like something like this.
It's not bad at all, this is really good.
I think now they don't have a choice!
I'm going to sew this up and show them that this will work for sure!
This is the future of Hyderabad and the first Ikea store in India.
So this is really exciting.
There it is, there's the beauty.
And the first bit of blue cladding, so everybody should recognise that.
It's just up here, this is great, thank you.
So let's get out and have a look, shall we?
John Achillea will have the honour of being the manager
of the first store to open in India.
This is where we'll meet, hopefully, our first eight million customers.
-And when will the store be ready?
-That's a very good question.
We are hoping spring 2018, and that is the date we have got,
and I'm driving towards that.
So maybe it's ambitious. My heart says we have to do it,
and my brain says, you know, it's going to be a lot of work to do.
But the first store is always going to be really tough,
because you haven't had the opportunity to send your co-workers
to a store to really see it.
But that's the reality of what we've got to face,
and my job is to get people ready to do the best we can.
Although there's no fixed date for the store opening,
Ikea are pushing ahead with a large recruitment drive.
Are you late again? Put your name on there.
Everyone should have a name badge.
Good morning, sir. How are you?
Get a name badge and put your name badge on, and then come on through.
John has recently hired 42 new managers
who are about to begin a two-day training course.
When people say, "What is your leadership style?", it goes back to
what my mother taught me - just do the right thing.
I will always say I trust every single one of you,
but there's an expectation that goes with that.
It means a lot to me that we behave correctly,
and that we treat our people really, really well.
And that is me in a nutshell. OK?
When we talk about recruitment,
we recruit to our values and our culture.
But everybody should have the basic values that Ikea has.
OK, do we think we have a full team?
I don't know.
John has flown in Garry Deakin, who has opened and managed many stores.
He's here with his team to teach the recruits the Ikea way.
The next two and a half days are all about,
"What is this word, culture, and this word, values?"
We are going to dig into those two works.
Garry, because I trust Garry. Garry and I have a history together.
He was my store manager many years ago,
and we have a great relationship, and he has proven that
this programme's worked in previous stores where he's been.
One of the questions Ingvar was asked is,
"What's the one thing that you worry about the most in Ikea?"
He said, "How will Ikea's culture be kept alive
"as we continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger?
"That's the thing that I lose sleep over the most."
The company culture is made up of eight key values,
set by founder Ingvar Kamprad,
like simplicity, togetherness, and to lead by example.
You are Ikea Hyderabad.
It will be what you make it.
Honestly, I tell you that again - it will be what you make it.
It's much more special because you're the first.
Much more special.
Garry has planned a series of leadership games
that put the values to the test.
OK, the game is,
they give us a sequence of left winks and right winks.
They have given me the sequence, so they might say,
"One left wink, two right wink, and one left wink," to me.
-Is it wink?
-And I will show you the sequence.
Then you pass it on to the next person.
OK, silent game.
Shh, shh, shh.
I think it hits this togetherness, and having one common goal.
Because the common goal of this
is that they will receive an instruction at that end,
they will deliver it to this end, and write down the same answer.
OK, we have two answers. I'll just ask the captains -
what did you send? What was the first signal?
What did you receive?
John, did you receive...?
Third signal you sent down the line?
-Three right. John?
And finally, what did you send? What was the fourth?
Only three sequences.
Oh, there's only three?
He's got four, that's why I asked.
How many did YOU receive?
Team, never in my life has this happened!
You can't send three and receive five!
We are really happy, we are full of energy, we are very excited.
The culture and the values, we are so different,
but yet we are all connected, with one value and the other value,
and then that makes the culture very rich for us.
So that's where we all come together.
India loves to have fun, and I think that's what we're seeing today.
But I think the one thing that is important for me is that they
understand the importance of the message we are trying to give them.
Because there's also a very fine line between having fun
and learning at the same time.
We have a long, long way to go.
In Wembley, the revolutionary redesign is under way.
So we are ripping out all the old,
sending it all back to the departments, all bargain corner,
and then we are making room for life.
Can we go in and have a look? Come on, let's go.
-Have you seen this yet?
-No, this is my first time.
-So I'm really, really curious.
-I've been sneaking in!
Country retail manager Gillian Drakeford
is checking up on progress.
Oh, wow, we're starting to put some lights in.
Yeah, it starts to take shape now.
But I think this looks quite...
For me, this is very market relevant as well.
Yeah? In terms of the layout.
-Yeah, really with the country feel.
With the country feel, then you've got open living-kitchen-dining,
which is so on trend.
Looks really good, Darren, yeah?
I've been reflecting a lot on the neighbourhoods,
because we're investing so much in them.
We spend a lot of time digging around people's homes.
We do a lot of home visits.
And then it's really getting the living situation and telling a story
of who lives in here, and feel that it's like a real home, yeah?
Each new room is designed for a fictional character.
Most characters are based on aspects of real people
met by Rickylee and the team when they were doing home visits.
The extrovert, Ben.
Living situation, he's living single, tattoo artist,
29 years old, income between £30,000 and £39,000 a year.
This is a typical man cave, loves dark wood, solid colours,
and beloved leather sofa make up his space.
It is really important, but also we make the person up according to
what we have found from home visits and the marketing side.
So in order to help us also build the emotional connection,
we make it Ben's room, then we are able to tell the story more.
So it is quite important for the whole process, really.
-Some Stephen King.
Oh, I love it!
Some of the new rooms will have a specific sound and smell.
Scents and sounds will be coming in, and then we finish the rest of
the propping of the back wall, and then we're ready to go.
What do you think the smell would be in this room?
While some rooms are more inspirational,
others more directly reflect how people live today.
This is the rental hub. This is how people have to live -
they live in really, really small spaces.
And then it's life.
It's literally, you know, you've got so many things in one room,
and this is how the people live.
It's a kitchen, it's a bedroom, it's a living room, all in one,
in a really, really small space. I love it.
You know, I really want to be champing at the bit to say,
"Come on, yes, it's open!"
And let's open the bottle of Champagne.
Not in opening hours, of course!
There's just a month to go until Andreas' flat-pack sofa is pitched
to the business team for final approval.
And Jerry has some important news.
The decision that we've taken when it comes to the...
..extra, smaller cushion is that that will not be included
in the sofa, and that's part of the strategy that we have decided on.
Jerry and the development team want customers to choose their own
cushions from the existing range.
The idea from the beginning was that there was supposed to be
a cushion included.
But I think that this is a much better way to go,
both from a cost perspective - keeping the price down -
and mainly then, of course,
also giving more options to the customer of how to dress the sofa.
I mean, that's...
It's kind of, I totally understand the thinking behind it.
What did he say?
He said, "Yeah, we in the team, we made a decision,"
and then I knew that, OK, we would not have a side cushion.
And I thought, "OK, good, but hang on," you know.
"Hold your horses. Let's see what he comes up with."
What is the key elements of a product?
What are the things that we absolutely cannot compromise with?
And in here, of course, it's the look of the frame,
the volumes of the cushions, the comfort.
And that's still here.
This is a little bit also what I have to fight with
all the time, you know.
I can't just say, "I want it like that," or,
"No, I don't do it like this."
-So that's the cushion issue.
-That's the cushion issue.
We need to have what we call the business case
approval in a few weeks' time.
And that's where we settle more or less everything around the sofa.
OK, everybody, if you just give me your attention for one minute.
So shuffle together. Get your fingers out.
And then we'll lie the helium stick on top.
So put your fingers together.
A little bit higher than that, team, a little bit higher.
OK, line your team up.
All we need you to do is lower the stick to the floor, OK?
So just relax.
Relax. Your finger mustn't come off. Three, OK? Go.
Three, two, one.
Lower it to the floor.
Now we're going up.
Lower it to the floor.
ALL TALK AT ONCE
Talk about it. What went wrong?
-By the time you fall, it's going to fall off.
Because you will lose balance.
There's a little bit of chaos at the moment.
It's the volume of noise and the fact that at the moment
they're working with ten leaders, not one.
Everybody has an opinion, and that often happens in the business,
where every manager wants to talk, and the co-worker says,
"Could one of you just tell me with clarity what I'm doing?"
And that's what they're learning in this already. You can hear them now.
No, it was going down, but...
OK. Team, I'm going to ask for silence.
And I feel like I'm wasting my time. Team...
Could everybody in the room please be quiet? Silence now. No talking.
No talking at all.
Three, two, one, lower it to the floor.
Lower it to the floor.
What are you doing?
THEY ALL TALK AT ONCE
OK, can I come in and help you?
How many of you in the group understand that the
stick is going up because it's filled with helium gas? Yes.
You understand that, don't you? Oh, gosh...
I thought one of you was going to say to me, "Don't be silly, Garry.
"There's no gas in the stick."
You think this is filled with helium, don't you?
There's no helium in that stick, is there?
I would say it was a challenging day.
I thought it was going to be a tough day, but it was tougher than that.
They talk over you. They talk over each other.
We're not here to change their culture. We're not.
The challenge we have is, how does Ikea's culture and their culture
come together so that the co-worker says Ikea is a great place to work?
It's going to be one hell of a hill.
With the opening date for the Hyderabad store yet to be
confirmed, Ikea plan to showcase a small
selection of their products at a pop-up store in a few months' time.
It's a painful, sometimes, experience to get there,
but we'll get there.
We are just doing the finishing touches now...
..for our grand opening.
Yay! It's finally here.
The Wembley store is preparing to unveil its new look to customers.
It really, really is different to the old room sets. My goodness.
I'm a little bit speechless. I'm quite shocked at it.
It's, like, absolutely beautiful.
And really, really we are sure that our customers are going to love it.
The Make Room For Life project was to really think differently.
We followed the principles that were given on a country level,
and then we wanted to make it something better
and something bigger and special in Ikea Wembley, and I really
think when you do a walk around the department you'll see it.
So one final round of applause for the guys,
and then we cut the ribbon.
Where are the people?
They're right out there, I can feel it.
Hi, there. You want some drink?
This is some nice sparkling pear, or you can try some plain orange juice.
It's up to you.
When they see the room, they get more excited than
when they come here.
They're more excited to have the drinks, to be honest.
No. It doesn't at all.
I didn't realise this was a new area.
Yes, you see, they've got elderly couples there
in their photograph, so that's obviously the idea.
This is to appeal to us and our age-group, I would say, yes.
And it does.
If we had to move into a tiny little flat, it's all here, isn't it?
No, no, no.
To help set the scene, some of the staff get into character.
-I'm a tattoo artist.
-All of my tattoos are hidden, because they're quite personal.
But, basically, I make art pieces for other people and, like,
anything that's special, you know, if you would like artwork to be
made, and this is like a reflection of my room.
What's your favourite item in this?
-This is my favourite part of the room.
Do you like how this looks?
I don't like the skeleton.
So this is our family home.
We own this house and we do loads of different activities here.
I would relax in here, easily.
I think it's a masculine...
There's not many feminine touches.
But then if you have too much feminine,
then what happens to the masculine person that lives in your house?
-How do you both relax? I don't know.
-You don't have a man in your house.
Well, I'd like to have one, so I think I'll have this room.
-Oh, yes. Definitely.
-Because there's something for young, old, and older.
-And beyond. And beyond Wembley.
-Are you talking about aliens here?
No, and beyond Wembley.
-And these are real rooms for real people, aren't they?
Like the tattooist, like the single man in his man cave room.
-A single man who wants a woman in the cold room.
Like, the princess in their white room.
-Didn't see that room.
That's going to be my room.
After months of refinement, Andreas is waiting to hear
if his radical flat-pack sofa will get the green light.
Never know what's going to happen.
So I guess I'm a little bit nervous about that.
And I would really be disappointed if it doesn't happen now.
If the sofa is going to make the cut,
Jerry and the business team need to sign off on the idea.
What we are talking about is a flexible sofa, a great speaker
for democratic design
and the Make Room For Play launch in February '18.
Don't like to wait.
I need... I need answers.
See you later, guys.
-How are you?
-I'm good. I'm good.
-Tired, but otherwise good.
Yes, we had the business case approval.
And it's all approved.
-Which is nice.
-Yeah, that's cool.
But it's going to be big for us
because it's one of the biggest things we do for next year.
-You came all the way from there with that?
It had its final meeting today, but it's approved.
So it's actually ticked off now that everything is approved.
-Basically, it's ready for production now.
-Yeah, so that's really cool.
-Well, I remember you enjoyed doing this one.
I can see when you have a bit of a buzz on a project.
This one was a super nice project.
It's very you, this, I think.
-When I've seen all the things that you've done.
But I've not actually seen it in real life.
So this is great, actually, and I really want to see how it
looks like in the garden, how it works.
-And you haven't tried it yet, either.
-No, I haven't tried it.
So I'm really... I'm really interested to see how it goes.
Oh, it's very light, isn't it?
-Put it there.
-You want it over there?
That would be so funny if it just collapsed, wouldn't it?
But I do love the feeling of it. It's like you just sink in.
And you get a headrest. Perfect.
So you're quite proud of him, then?
I'm very proud of him.
Actually, I'm always proud of him.
First drink in the sofa.
Don't stain it!
You just couldn't...
You just couldn't live without those, could you?
That was bugging you, actually.
But it needs something like this.
In India, the team have rented space in a shopping centre
for their pop-up showroom.
I don't know if I'm nervous. Maybe I should be.
But I'm... I'm excited.
God, think if it comes sort of thousands and thousands of people.
It may be the culmination of three years'
research, but pricing still hasn't been finalised.
We can't sell anything from here.
It is just to show and tell.
We have a licence to sell the day we open up the big store.
That's going to be maybe a little bit tricky to explain
and so on, so we're maybe a little bit nervous about that.
-How do you feel?
-Are you nervous?
-Not at all.
-Not at all. No, no, no.
-We've been waiting a long time for this.
The moment's here now and I think
it's going to be absolutely fantastic.
I don't think I realise, really, what's happening.
We're open! We're open.
Should I start to cry now or...?
You know, that first woman, she must be sort of a super fan.
I love Ikea from the bottom of my heart.
It's about the uniqueness.
-How do you like it?
-It's very nice.
-It's a shame that I can't buy anything.
-No, I know.
-It's like, you know, giving an ice cream...
-Yeah, you can't have it.
As of now, we're not taking any bookings.
The only thing is that we just put some things on display.
I love that it's coming to India.
I'm not quite sure what this experience store is.
I don't quite understand what this is.
There's no prices, and the whole reason, like,
when I go to Ikea, I know that they're really well priced.
Absolutely. It's been... It's been extremely tough.
I mean, we need to make a profit.
We need to sort of earn money, as any other business environment.
We are working extremely, extremely hard to lower the prices
and to set the exact right price.
So that work is still going on.
So we're giving some price examples,
but we are not pricing all the articles.
With their aim to be affordable to all, finalising
prices in India has been tough, and only four items have price tags.
You don't see all kinds of class floating in.
Are they looking only for a specific set of, you know,
community or crowd that they are catering to?
If they want to crack the Indian market, they have to meet
everybody not from the medium class, but even from low to medium.
Let's be real.
If you look around now, does it look like somewhere that
a working-class person would even feel comfortable?
And I think, you know, one of my fears in the beginning was
we make it look too chic.
We need to do a lot of work, but what we need to do,
we need to start making money to invest more to reduce prices
so that many more of those people can afford Ikea.
today is the first real opportunity to see his staff at work.
Had we been building this when we were doing our training
back in May or June, I think
these guys would have been speaking over each other, almost
punching each other out of the way to be the first one to
attempt it, but now what you can see is they're actually collaborating
and working together to find a solution.
I'm an Ikean, with a blend of an Indian twist.
I married this Indian culture to the Ikean culture
and I'm a complete blend of Ikea and India.
We have to understand that we have to be
serious about the fact that we are impactful.
Both when it comes to people's life, both
when it comes to consumption and how do we sort of fix that,
how do we take responsibility, and also super,
super big and interesting questions, and with the paradigm shift that we
are in front, we will meet a much, much more critical crowd ahead
than we ever have.
We're going to open up 25, 30 stores here,
and that's a wow just in itself.
What an impact we will make.
With prices not yet fixed, and the first store still to open,
Ikea have a long way to go before it they can say they've cracked India.
Uncover the mysteries of flat-pack everyday design and brand names.
To find out more, go to our website...
..and follow the links to the Open University.
IKEA is not like any other company - the Swedish furniture retailer is driven by a powerful philosophy, to 'create a better everyday life for the many people', and with 900 million customers a year, we go behind the scenes to find the secret to its global success. With unprecedented access to IKEA's design studios, factories, test labs and stores over the course of a year, we get to know the people who work for the famous company, and explore how they are opening up and massively expanding around the world.
In episode three, we follow Mia Lundstrom as she takes on the company's biggest challenge in a generation - pushing into India with an aggressive expansion plan. Not only is IKEA bringing their stores and products, but their unique culture and values. With over a billion potential customers, how will the unique company brand work - will India understand IKEA?
We see designer Andreas Fredriksson try to get his new 'indoor-outdoor' sofa through the machine of IKEA. And we follow the staff of IKEA Wembley as they undertake one of the biggest store refurbishments in the company's history - removing the fabled walkways and arrows and creating room-sets that better reflect a changing world.