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Ikea: Swedish furniture in Bangkok

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Ikea's new Bangkok store is unique. Inspirational design showrooms to view, international designs, low prices, restaurant, play area & a new do-it-yourself approach. 

furniture store

Photo above and below of two of the Swedish furniture store Ikea's 62 inspirational showrooms with real-life settings.

Click button to listen to Ikea's Swedish Furniture in Bangkok to download

Bringing Swedish design to Thailand by Vanniya Sriangura


furniture storeHaving opened last month, Ikea Bangna has already made a favourable impression on local homemakers.

...Opened early last month, the 43,000m2 Ikea Bangna may be a dream come true for passionate homemakers of every need and wherewithal. This mega home-furnishing store stocks everything - from beds, doors and lighting fixtures to kitchen utensils, aromatic candles and soft toys.

The store not only offers Scandinavian-design products cherished for their lovely style and functionality, it also allows consumers to get the high quality, internationally acclaimed goods at eyebrow-raising low prices.

There are, of course, some costly merchandise, but where else can you find a wooden coffee table for 450 baht, a toddler's high chair for 650 baht, a set of solid pine drawers for 1,490 baht, a comfy two-seat sofa for 3,490 baht or a beautifully designed bed frame for 4,690 baht? Moreover, some items - pillows, picture frames, children's dining sets and packs of glass tumblers - are priced below 99 baht.

So how has the 60-year-old Swedish enterprise been able to keep the prices so affordable while maintaining quality.

According to Lars Svensson, project marketing manager of Ikea Thailand, the brand's ingenious designs and its DIY concept are the key reasons.

''Unlike many other manufacturers who determine the price of their products after they've been created, we do it in reverse by designing products that meet our pre-set prices,'' said Svensson.

''When we develop products, our starting point is the idea that, even with a thin wallet, people should be able to create a beautiful home with well designed, functional, safe and healthy products,'' he said. ''So our design teams have to find the best possible way to come up with modern merchandise that will most satisfy people but which costs the least. And we found that customers' willingness to bring home and assemble the products themselves would certainly enable us to reduce costs.''

Svensson pointed out that all Ikea products are also designed based on an effective logistical scenario. Most products are packed in flat parcels to minimise transportation and storage costs. So, besides offering customers a more affordable solution, it means that everything is available in the store and ready for instant take-home.

''To be able to offer low prices, we have always avoided wasting resources. Over the years, our company has learned that saving money and saving the environment usually go hand in hand. Over the past 15 years, we have developed a sustainability programme that encourages us to work responsibly on forestry, water treatment, cotton farming and many other projects,'' he said.

Thanks to its bargaining power, Ikea's gigantic scale helps push down cost too. Established in Smaland, Sweden, in 1943, the company now has 330 stores in 38 countries worldwide. It boasts more than 145,000 employees and attracted 700 million visitors last year alone.

Ikea Bangna is the Swedish retail giant's first outlet in Bangkok and the biggest in Southeast Asia. With more than 7,500 product ranges, the megastore features 62 inspirational showrooms with real-life settings, a 7,264m2 self-service furniture depot, 27 checkout counters, a staffed play area for children, a Swedish food market hall and casual restaurant that can seat up to 700 diners... 

...to remain competitive, the company has actively chosen to work with lower margins than in some other countries

''We are here for the long run and trying to build our business on volume. That means we have to look beyond quarterly results and focus on business growth which will allow us to also look at the possibility of lowering the prices over time.''

So far, the most popular items at the Bangkok store are sofas, soft toys and the 29-baht re-useable plastic shopping bags that come with a life-time guarantee, said Svensson... 

[See original article for more photos]

(Source: Bangkok Post, Bringing Swedish design to Thailand, Having opened last month, Ikea Bangna has already made a favourable impression on local homemakers, 9/12/2011, Vanniya Sriangura, link

Retail Furniture Business Vocabulary


Ikea -
the world's largest furniture retailer that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories, founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden, ...the firm is known for the attention it gives to cost control, operational details and continuous product development, allowing it to lower its prices by an of average 2 to 3% over the decade to 2010, while continuing its global expansion(See Wikipedia)

design -
the way that something such as a product is made, the way it looks, the way it is put together, the way it functions, a plan for how to make it (See Wikipedia and industrial design)

Scandinavia (noun) - the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and their common culture, historical and language traditions (See Wikipedia)
Scandinavian (adjective)

Scandinavian-design - a design movement characterized by simple designs, minimalism, functionality, and low-cost mass production, that emerged in the 1950s in the three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), as well as Finland, well-known company names include IKEA and Electrolux in Sweden and Bang & Olufsen in Denmark (See Wikipedia)
Swedish design

bringing Swedish design to Thailand

impression - an opinion or feeling that you have about someone or something ความรู้สึก,ความประทับใจ
local - in this country (here: Thailand)
made a favourable impression on local homemakers.

homemaking - the art and science of the management of a home including meal preparation and planning, childcare, household repairs, making clothes, cleaning, cooking, looking after children and more generally making a beautiful home that is a joy to live in (See Wikipedia)
homemaker - a person involved in the work of homemaking (a nicer and more

passion (noun) - a very strong feeling about something or belief in something
passionate (adjective)  
passionate homemakers - people who are very involved in homemaking activities 

a dream come true
wherewithal - when a person has the money (and more generally the "means") to do something

stocks (noun) - large amounts stored for future use
stocks (verb) - has a product in the store (or in inventory in the warehouse)
stocks everything
 

kitchen utensils
soft toys  

aromatic - has a nice smell มีกลิ่นหอม
aromatic candles  

cherished for their lovely style and functionality


consumers - people who buy things or services (individuals and families)

acclaimed - given public approval and praise เสียงแซ่ซ้อง, เสียงตะโกนด้วยความชื่นชม
internationally acclaimed goods - people around the world in every country like goods and praise the goods
eyebrow-raising - surprising (people "raise their eyebrows" when they are surprised) 
eyebrow-raising low prices - surprisingly low prices
internationally acclaimed goods at eyebrow-raising low prices

merchandise - goods that are bought and sold ผลิตภัณฑ์, วัตถุที่ซื้อขายกัน
costly merchandise - expensive products sold in a store

coffee table - a long low table usually placed in front of a sofa in the living room (See Wikipedia)
toddler -
a baby who is just beginning to walk, roughly between the ages of one and three (See Wikipedia)
toddler's high chair - a raised chair with a small table on it for feeding babies food (See Wikipedia)

drawer -
the part of a desk or chest for putting and keeping things, shaped like a box ลิ้นชัก
solid - a very hard and firm substance and material แข็ง
pine - wood from pine tree (See Wikipedia)
solid pine drawers

bed frame -
a bed without a mattress (a mattress is placed on top of a metal or wood bed frame to make a bed (See Wikipedia)

comfy -
comfortable สบาย
comfy two-seat sofa

pillow -
the soft thing you rest your head on in bed หมอน
picture frames
- a wood or metal photo or picture holder กรอบรูป
dining set - a table and chairs for a family to eat a meal together in the dining room (See Wikipedia)

tumbler - drinking glass with straight sides (See list of different types at Wikipedia)
packs of glass tumblers priced below 99 baht

enterprise - an organization, especially a business กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
Swedish enterprise - a Swedish company

affordable - not very expensive, so you are able to buy it with the money you have ไม่แพง
able to keep the prices so affordable while maintaining quality

DIY -
Do-It-Yourself,  building, modifying, or repairing of something by yourself without the the help of experts or professionals, home improvement projects that can done by yourself (See Wikipedia)
concept - a principle or idea ความคิด

ingenious - very smart and clever; using new ideas, methods or equipment to do something  
ingenious designs - very smart and clever new product designs
the brand's ingenious designs
the brand's ingenious designs and its DIY concept

key - important คนสำคัญ
the key reasons - the most important reasons

determine - to officially decide something ตัดสินใจ ชี้ขาด กำหนด
determine the price of their products

reverse -
backward, opposite direction (the reverse of 1, 2, 3 is 3, 2, 1)  ตรงกันข้าม, กลับกัน, พลิกกลับ, ซึ่งถอยกลับ,  ซึ่งถอยหลัง, ด้านตรงกันข้าม,
do it in reverse

pre-set prices - meaning: prices they set before, then they figure out how to make the product for that price

unlike many other manufacturers who
determine the price of their products after they've been created, we do it in reverse by designing products that meet our pre-set prices

wallet - a small flat case that people keep money, bank cards, and small documents in and usually carry in their pocket or bag กระเป๋าขนาดเล็กที่ทำจากหนังหรือพลาสติก
even with a thin wallet - meaning: even if they don't have a lot of money
even with a thin wallet, people should be able to create a beautiful home with well designed, functional, safe and healthy products

assemble - bring parts together in a single group ประกอบ
assemble the products themselves - make the products at home by yourself (put them together at home)

enable - to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible ทำให้เป็นไปได้
enable us to reduce costs

pointed out - showed something to people

effective - works well, gets the job done; producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
scenario - a description of  a situation, actions or events (usually in the future)
an effective logistical scenario

pack - put in a box or wrap up in paper before sending somewhere บรรจุ, ใส่หีบห่อ, เก็บของใส่กระเป๋า
parcel
- something wrapped in paper so it can sent somewhere in the mail พัสดุ, หีบ, ห่อ
packed in parcels
packed in flat parcels

minimise - to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree ลดจำนวนลง ลดให้เหลือน้อยที่สุด
storage - the putting and keeping of things in a special place for use in the future การเก็บ

products are packed in flat parcels to minimise transportation and storage costs.

instant - happening right now (without delay)
ready for instant take-home.

resources - things such as coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากร things such as money, workers and equipment that can be used to help achieve something ทรัพยากร

waste resources - use more than you need to when you are doing something (example: using 12 alligators for their skins to make one small bag)
avoided wasting resources

environment - the natural world of land, sea, plants, and animals
go hand in hand - are two things that go together (or should go together)

saving money and saving the environment
usually go hand in hand

sustainability - situation or activity can continue for a long time
a sustainability programme that encourages us to work responsibly on forestry, water treatment, cotton farming and many other project

bargaining - try to get a better deal from someone (for example, a better price for something you want to buy)
bargaining power  

gigantic
- very large มโหราฬ ใหญ่มโหฬาร ใหญ่โต
scale - size (relative size)
gigantic scale - very large size

thanks to its bargaining power, Ikea's gigantic scale helps push down cost too

X boasts Y - X has Y and this is a good thing that X should be proud of
it boasts more than 145,000 employees

retail - to sell directly to the public for their own use ขายปลีก
the Swedish retail giant's first outlet in Bangkok

inspirational - giving you energy and enthusiasm to come up with new and creative ideas
show-room - a place where products are shown to customers (example: a showroom for cars at a automobile dealership)
inspirational showrooms - a showroom for products that gives you new ideas (for decorating your home)
 

setting -
real-life setting -

showroom with real-life setting

62 inspirational
showrooms with real-life settings

self-service - when the customer helps themselves in a store or restaurant (not helped by an employee of the store)
depot - a building where supplies or vehicles are kept คลัง
self-service furniture depot -  a place where the customer picks up their purchases and puts them in their car

checkout counter - the place where customers in a store pay for their purchases (the things they are buying)

a staffed play area for children - an area where children can play (with company employees (staff) watching over it)

casual -
event happening without a lot of planning, organization or rules
casual restaurant -
a restaurant in which you get your own food (self-service) without waiters (like a "food court"s)

diner - a person eating in a restaurant
a casual restaurant that can seat up to 700 diners... 


competitive - involving competition มีการแข่งขัน
...to remain competitive, the company has actively chosen to work with lower margins than in some other countries

volume - the quantity or amount of something
 trying to build our business on volume.

results - what is produced in the end by an activity or task
quarterly results - how a business did for a period of three months (a quarter), whether it made a profit or lost money

focus on - think about and work on one thing (rather than waste time on many), concentrate time and attention on one thing ให้ความสำคัญ
look beyond quarterly results and focus on business growth

guarantee - a promise to do or give something คำรับรอง, การประกัน (See glossary)
life-time guarantee - when a company promises that their product will last for your whole life
29-baht re-useable plastic shopping bags that come with a life-time guarantee

feature - to include someone or something as an important part ทำให้เด่น

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