Ikea assignment Prepared by: George Georgiev Evgeniya Mincheva Zornica Rasheva Executive Summary

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IKEA assignment

Prepared by:

George Georgiev

Evgeniya Mincheva

Zornica Rasheva
Executive Summary
Furniture remains the largest home furnishings and housewares sector.
Bulgaria’s furniture industry is a dynamically developing sector in the past few years. It is well known that most furniture companies in the country are based on strong traditions and good correlation between price and quality, but (as in many other countries), although the major part of the customers on the inner market prefer Bulgarian-made furniture, high prices are seen as a sign of high quality, so most furniture pieces produced by the companies are considered high priced and hardly affordable for the majority of people.
IKEA was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. It started as a place where a person can buy pens, picture frames, watches, etc. and with the time turned to be the world’s largest furniture retailer. One of the main aims of the organisation include: keeping costs low and assist customers and products combining good quality, durability and functionality and this replies to the needs of the Bulgarian customer.
Trough analyzing the situation within the country and IKEA the decision to open an IKEA store in Sofia was taken.
A PEST analysis was held to recognize all the factors that might have an effect on the company entering the Bulgarian market. The current situation of the furniture industry was analyzed and trough that the target market and the positioning of IKEA were identified. The competitors’ and customers’ analyzes that were made show what IKEA has to adapt to when entering the market of the country. The Internal and SWOT analysis show why IKEA has the opportunity to enter, develop and gain a market share in the Bulgarian furniture sector. The Market was researched and based on all that the marketing mix strategies were developed. And a PERT analysis was also held to show how the decisions made will be implemented.

History of IKEA

IKEA was founded in Älmhult, Sweden, in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. He founded the company at the age of 17. IKEA is an acronym incidentally similar to the Greek word οικία [oikia] which means (home) and to the Finnish word oikea (correct, right), but actually was originally an abbreviation for "Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd". Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd comes from the address where Ingvar Kamprad started the company IKEA initially.

Originally, IKEA sold pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewelry and nylon stockings or practically anything Kamprad decided is a needed product on reduced price. Furniture was first added to the IKEA product range in 1948. In 1955, IKEA began to design its own furniture. The company motto is: "Affordable Solutions for Better Living."
At first, Kamprad sold his goods out of his home and by mail order. Later a store was opened in the town of Älmhult. It was also the location for the first IKEA "warehouse" store which came to serve as a model for IKEA establishments elsewhere. On March 23, 1963, the first store outside Sweden was opened in Asker, a Norwegian municipality outside Oslo.
IKEA has grown step by step into the world’s largest furniture retailer. There are 202 Ikea stores in 32 countries. Of these, 180 stores belong to the Ikea Group. The remaining 22 stores are owned and run by franchisees outside the Ikea Group.

Products Available
IKEA’s products are used from the customers for the whole furnishing of a home. Customers may find everything they need and basically furnish their houses “from the forks to the chairs”.
The products available are:

  • Storage furniture;

  • TV solutions;

  • Small storages;

  • Sofas and armchairs;

  • Tables and desks;

  • Chairs and lighting;

  • Decoration and mirrors;

  • Floors;

  • Textiles and rugs;

  • Beds and mattresses;

  • Cooking and eating;

  • Furniture care and hardware;

  • Kitchen cabinets and appliances;

  • Bathroom furniture;

  • Clothes storages;

  • Safety products;

  • Children’s line of products

PEST Analysis

Political Factors:

  • The political environment in Bulgaria is constantly changing due to financial instability and changes in lows and regulations that are closely related to the economic development and trade policy in the country.

  • Lately the Bulgarian government is famous with its inadequate decisions which directly reflect on the business environment in the country. The furniture industry as well as many others is handicapped by the high value added tax (20% VAT);

  • An official code of ethics is conducted by the government; however it is not widely adopted by the companies and organizations in the country. The Bulgarian government does not force the companies within the country to follow the ethic code;

  • The government policy’s on the economy is changing constantly due to the fact that Bulgaria joined EU in 2007. the reason for this is that our economy is striving to reach the level of other European countries’ economies;

  • The government is trying to remain neutral when considering and religious issues in the country. It is striving to protect the official religion in Bulgaria which is Orthodox Christianity. Nonetheless, the government allows the existence of other religions in the country and it is trying to keep the tolerance between religions. There is lack of government’s involvement in the protection and development of the culture

  • Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and a member of WTO ( World Trade Organization);

Economic Factors

-According to the European commission statement, the real annual GDP per capita is accelerating for the past two years. In 2006, the GDP was 6.1% which was almost double the GDP of EU. In 2007 it reached 6.5% and for 2008 it is expected to top 7%. The level of employment has been rising also for the past two years. In 2007 it reached 9% per capita and it is expected to reach 7% in the first half of 2009. In 2007, the level of inflation has dropt dawn to 4.1%. However, according to the data gathered by the National Statistic Institute (NSI), the shrinking of the labor market and the rising of salaries will be the main reason for high inflation in 2008 and 2009. In 2006 the interest rates were 3.9%, in 2007; it has increased to 4.8%. Presently, the interest rates are 4.78%.

Socio-cultural Factors

  • The dominant one is Orthodox Christianity. The average age of the Bulgarian population is 75 years. The older generations are not wealthy. Women and men share equal rights. However, it is still noticeable the fact that greater percentage of the women are still being only housewives. A positive attitude towards foreign products occurs on first place. The average Bulgarian person cannot allow to himself long time for leisure. Only a small percentage of the population has time for leisure. According to a research done by the National Statistical Institute, the annual income per capita is 2831 BGN.

Technological Factors

  • the adoption of new technologies in Bulgaria opens new markets for the Bulgarian products and services and also increases their quality;

  • distribution has also changed due to technological development (online distribution);

  • New technologies also reflected on the communication with consumers by making them better and more intensive (including online marketing);

Current Situation Analysis
Market Definition and Market Size

The furniture industry in Bulgaria is well developed and there is a number of companies with high reputation that serve the market.

The furniture manufacturing in Bulgaria is growing rapidly and a proof for this is the 30% increase since 2007. The rise in sales is also very noticeable. According to the Analysis on development, manufacturing and sales of furniture in Bulgaria done by the National Statistical Institute, the level of sales is twice higher in 2007 compared to the sales performed in 2006.
The import of furniture is becoming more and more intensive during the last two years. In 2006, the imported furniture increased with 38% in the second half of the year and in 2007 it reached 44%.
The export of furniture is rising slower. Only 15.8% growth in the export is noticed for the last two years.
Market Segmentation Analysis
Analysis has been carried out in order to outline the target markets. Several segments have been examined. These are:

  • Households with average income 500-1000 BGN;

  • Offices;

  • Public Institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals;

  • Hospitality businesses;

    1. Households segment

The approximate number of households in Bulgaria is 2 369 100 according to a research done by the National Statistical Institute in 2007. The following graphic presents the number of potential consumers.

According to the results, 70% of all Bulgarian households would be interested in the products offered by the company, but could not afford them. However, only 35% of them or 829 185 households are potential consumers, as their average annual income is higher than the Bulgarian standards.

    1. Offices segment

The approximate number of middle and large-sized companies in Bulgaria is 80 000. The following graphic presents the number of potential consumers among them.

Approximately 48% of these companies will be interested in the products provided by the company. The reason for this is the company’s policy of self-assembling furniture and unwillingness of large businesses to purchase this type of products. However, 25% of all companies or 20 000 firms are considered as potential customers, because middle sized businesses will buy the products in order to reduce their expenses.

    1. Public Institutions

As already explained above, this market segment consists of educational institutions and hospitals.

At the moment the secondary schools performing in the country are 2843 according to the National Statistical Institute. Only 30% of them would be interested in the products available, as they are private secondary schools and they are not subsidized by the government. However 8% of them or 227 schools are able to afford it and are considered to be potential consumers.

The reason stated above considering the secondary schools applies on the other two segments and explains the percentages mentioned below.

The approximate number of universities and colleges in Bulgaria is 48. 60% of them will be interested in the products, however, only 6% of them or approximately 3 higher educational institutions are potential consumers.

The approximate number of health care institutions in Bulgaria is 7500. Very small percentage of them will be interested in the products provided by IKEA-only 30%. 5% of them or approximately 112 are considered to be potential customers.

    1. Hospitality Business

This market segment consists of all hotels and motels that are presently performing in the country.

The approximate number of hotels and other types of tourist accommodation places is 3 300. Almost 80% of them will show interest in the products of the company, because the products are lower priced. 45% of them or 1200 are considered to be potential customers, because they will have the budget needed to afford them.

According to the segmentation analysis carried out, the segments that are appropriate for targeting are the households, offices and hospitality market segments. The main target segment will be the households due to the large number of potential customers. Public institutions are not considered as a target segment due to the lack of government subsidies which may allow the institutions to purchase IKEA’s products.

In order to create the right perception in the customers’ minds, the company’s products will be positioned based on several factors. These are:

  • Affordable price

  • Elegancy

  • High standards of quality

  • Modern design

Competitors Analysis
In Bulgaria there are more than 1200 competitors. The main competitors of IKEA in Bulgaria are Mebel Style, Astra, Diva Style and Metron. These of them are large companies with stores in the large Bulgarian cities and their main offices are situated in Sofia. These companies have already built strong brand and high image and the majority of Bulgarians have good awareness of their products. The price lists of Diva Style and Mebel Style cannot be afforded it by great percentage of the Bulgarian population. Metron and Astra have lower priced products. However, their quality could not be compared with IKEA’s products.
The import of Chinese furniture also outlines several major competitors for IKEA. The very low prices of the imported goods undercut the business of the Bulgarian furniture industry and a number of companies suffer the lost of customers and therefore the lost of profit.

Consumer Analysis

  • Problem recognition

The customer buying process in Bulgaria follows the same approach as any other country. On first place that is the problem recognition. When buying furniture the customers have to recognize the fact that they need it. In Bulgaria the innovation for furniture depends mostly on the income of the population

The complex decision making is based on that the customers make a lot of search when they have the intention to buy some furniture. So they analyze also the advantages and disadvantages of the competitive companies on the market. The buying decision is connected with the willingness and intention of the customer to have something new. The possession of new fashion furniture expresses the position of the social class.

Internal Analysis
IKEA was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad and has turned into an international furniture retailer, which specialises in stylish but inexpensive Scandinavian designed furniture. At the end of 2004 the IKEA group had 180 stores in 22 countries and 22 IKEA stores owned and run by franchisees, outside the IKEA group, in 14 countries. Its success in the retail industry is due to the fact that the company has a vast experience in the retail market, product differentiation, and cost leadership. Their unique concept is that furniture is sold in kits that are assembled by the customers at home. The company remains one of the world’s most successful multinational retailing firms, operating as a global organization in private ownership.

SWOT Analysis

  • A global organization with good reputation built in the past 64 years.

  • It offers a wide range of home furnishing items with good design and function, excellent quality and durability, at low and affordable (for the majority of people) prices.

  • Within the company everyone can distribute to its development with their specialist knowledge.

  • Products are developed in close cooperation with suppliers and often only one supplier is appointed to supply all stores around the world which makes it easy to control the whole process.

  • The company has a good marketing strategy of attracting the customer through catalogues, but keeping them and giving them a reason to come back through good service.

  • IKEA uses leading-edge technology and the company has developed its own global distribution network.

  • It adapts easily to the demands customers might have .

  • Relies on simplicity and common sense when it comes to planning and strategic direction.

  • All design teams have complete autonomy in their work and are expected to design new and appealing products regularly.

  • The company does not believe that quality comes with high prices and that allows them to concentrate on creating quality products rather than on competing with their competitors.

  • Long term relationship with suppliers.

  • It does not enter new potential markets by opening a retail outlet, but links with the ones established in the host country and in those way local suppliers can provide valuable input on political and legal, cultural, financial and other issues that provide opportunities and/or threats to the IKEA concept.

  • Approaches unknown, relatively small and risk markets by franchising.


  • Having only one supplier dealing with supplies all over the world can be hard on first place for the supplier, and on second for the company because if some problems occur with that supplier the whole distribution process of the company is at threat and may cause serious problems.

  • IKEA does not have its own manufacturing facilities but uses subordinated manufacturers all over the world.


  • The company has the opportunity to expand to even more countries and earn more customers.

  • Through deciding to target a new country for distributing their products and because the company uses subordinated manufacturers all over the world rather than having their own manufacturing facilities, IKEA has the opportunity to create new work placement for the local community and in terms increase the level of loyalty towards the company.

  • Working towards the total customer satisfaction as a result it might be expected that customers will come back and buy again and if really satisfied they will advertise IKEA among other possible clients.

  • To meet all challenges that might occur, the company has the opportunity to find the proper balance between country level autonomy and centralized intervention.


- Expanding overseas equals:

  • increase in complexity of the logistic systems

  • more difficulties when responding to national needs and cultural sensitivity issues

  • Franchisees may demand more control over operations

  • Emerging demographic trends may force the organization to broaden its focus strategy to respond to varying nation-level groups

- Design teams have complete autonomy in their work which might lead to losing control over them at some point during the working process.

- When entering new international markets the company faces a risk of political, legal, cultural, financial, etc. issues.

- Approaches unknown, relatively small and risk markets by franchising.

- With all the components that have to be taken in mind it might be very difficult for the company to maintain central organizational structure.

Market Research

Tendencies in development of furniture sector
The development of furniture sector in Bulgaria for the period 2000 – 2006, is rapidly growing. The furniture production and development recently tries to follow the emerging trends of development of other Bulgarian and foreign furniture companies.
There is a tendency of increase in the number of small and middle size companies in the branch for the period of 1999-2004. 99% of the companies operating in the field are small and middle sized companies with 10 to 50 employees.
More and more customers do value the companies not only by the quality of the products and services but also are considering the ability to deliver the furniture precisely in time.
In Bulgaria, the situation in the furniture industry is quite positive. The production value rose by 48% in 2003 to amount to 330 million Euros.

Exports equaled 128.5 million Euros (+72%).

The average income of a household for 2007 is 7130 BGN, the expenses for the same year per household are 6843.
According to a research done by NSI (National Statistical Institute), the most commonly used structure of distribution channels is as follows:

Average share of answers %

Low Average Low Middle Average High High

Low Average Low Middle Average High High

  • Distribution channel with more than one middleman

  • Distribution channel with one middleman

  • Direct contact with customer

Figure 4. What is the structure of the most commonly Figure 5. In what degree do you accept the use

used by you distributional channel? of logistics company?

A research was conducted in order to understand how many of the operating companies in the furniture industry use actively the Internet as a promotional and distributional channel. The pie below represents the results of the research.

                  • I am not aware of


  • No

  • Yes



Figure 6. Do you use any web software for online marketing?

Marketing Mix Strategies

  • Product Mix

The products available in IKEA are not going to be altered. The company’s policy of self-assembling is one of the winning points for the Bulgarian market. However, augmented products will be offered together with the main goods of the company. These products will be sold with the furniture and will be used for maintaining it. Augmented products will be provided by Bulgarian companies with good reputation. Such kind of products are varnishes, polishers and other preparations used for maintaining, the surfaces of the furniture.

The furniture will also be available with repair kits. These will include the tools necessary for assembling and additional parts of the furniture, which in case of damage of the furniture will be used for replacement.

When purchasing greater amount of products, a team of the company’s employees will perform the assembling of the products instead of the customer. This applies to the hospitality segment in particularly.

  • Price Mix

IKEA’s products target the mass market in Bulgaria. The main target segment is the households. Therefore, the prices will be decided in order to be affordable for them on the basis of their average annual income.

In order to eliminate the competitors, the company will under-price them, by introducing slow growth of the prices of its products.

Discounts will be available, when purchasing a certain amount of the products. Also when the company launches new product lines. This type of discounts will be available for short period of time.

The augmented products will be free, when a greater amount of furniture products is purchased.

The store will work together with several credit firms, which will allow the customers, to purchase the desired product by paying in installments.

Certain discounts will be available for the use of the assembling team on the basis of the amount of furniture purchased. Applies mainly to the hospitality segment.

The seasonal collections of IKEA will be available with discounts after the end of the active season. The summer collection will be sold during the winter and vice versa.

  • Promotion Mix

The company will be presented and promoted in national trade fairs for furniture design and solutions.

Advertising campaign will be carried out by using billboards, and by having the company’s catalogues in the most popular daily newspapers and by posting them when the customers require.

Advertisements will be included in specialized magazines for furniture and design such as “My Home” magazine.

Advertisements will be placed in the mass media such as radio and television, such as the national TV channels BTV, BNT and NOVATV.

The company’s website will provide on-line catalogue and shopping in Bulgarian language.

Advertising will be performed by using Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Engine Marketing and through various SEO optimizations of the official Bulgarian IKEA web site.

  • Place/Distribution Mix

The store will be placed in Sofia.

The transportation costs of products (when the amount of them is big and special transport is needed) will be covered by the company, when it’s locally-within the city.

Products will be distributed to big stores in the country, where they will be sold together with the products of other furniture companies.

It is also considered to open offices in the big malls around the country, where products will be available for purchase.

Implementation of strategies

By carrying out PERT analysis and critical path analysis, the time needed for the implementation of the strategies has been estimated. The different activities to be performed have been distributed among the departments in the company. The overall time needed for the implementation of the plan is two months. Delays are also considered by using critical path analysis. These are shown below:

PERT is a method to analyze the tasks involved in completing a given project, especially the time needed to complete each task, and identifying the minimum time needed to complete the total project.

  • Optimistic time is the minimum possible time required to accomplish a task, assuming everything proceeds better than is normally expected.

  • Pessimistic time is the maximum possible time required to accomplish a task, assuming everything goes wrong (but excluding major catastrophes).

  • Most Likely Time is the best estimate of the time required to accomplish a task, assuming everything proceeds as normal.

  • Expected time is the best estimate of the time required to accomplish a task, assuming everything proceeds as normal (the implication being that the expected time is the average time the task would require if the task were repeated on a number of occasions over an extended period of time).

TE = (O + 4M + P) ÷ 6



Optimistic time (a)

Most likely time (m)

Pessimistic time (b)

Te (time expected)


Establish contacts with firms for augmented products

4 days

5 days

8 days

5,33 days

Screening & selection of assembling team

8 days

9 days

12 days

9,33 days

Outdoor advertising

10 days

12 days

15 days

12,16 days

Mass media

2 days

3 days

5 days

3,16 days

Paper advertisements

6 days

7 days

10 days

7,33 days

Website development and Internet advertisements

20 days

30 days

40 days

30 days


30 days

30 days

43 days

32,16 days

Note: all times listed are in work days

Financial Analysis
Master Budget plan
In the master budget you will see a forecast for sales and costs for the year ending of June 2nd 2009. All the products are not manufactured in the Bulgarian store of IKEA, but are outsourced.
Short version of master budget plan for the year ending 02-06-2009:
Beginning inventory budget 348.000 lv

Finish goods purchase budget 860.000 lv

Labor costs 420.000 lv

Cost of total goods outsourced 1.628.000 lv

Ending inventory budget 479.500 lv

Cost of goods sold 1.200.500 lv

Non finished goods purchasing budgets for the year ending 02-06-2009.

700.000 lv

Total costs of finished goods 1.900.500 lv
Note: The sums are approximately estimated based on the price trend in the furniture industry in Bulgaria at the moment.
Break even analysis
The break even point is as stated below 53.436. Note that as a unit price the average of all selling prices has been calculated.
Break even point 53.436

Units 185.400

Unit price 700 lv

Variable cost 450 lv

Fixed Cost 479.500 lv.

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