Fredrik C. Johansson deep dives into the retail innovation that drives IKEA’s success in Korea with Alex Jensen.
Fredrik and Alex discuss the entrepreneurial spirit that he loves at IKEA and that drives the company to innovate in all aspects of their business. Not only adding retail e-commerce to the brick-and-mortar stores, but also ensuring that the human contact remains with online shopping with the human remote sales teams.
Alex and Fredrik discuss how the pandemic forced IKEA to rethink both its supply chains and its retail spaces, how would they cope with such a massive drop in available containers? How would they cope with strict limits on in-store visitors to the retail outlets?
Fredrik also discusses the impact of changing demographics have had on the IKEA business retail model. How would IKEA adapt from serving the family with kids model, to a country where 40% of people live alone as well as the extra factor of more and more elderly people living alone?
IKEA is a company that takes sustainability seriously, from the flat pack strategy, which reduces their supply chain carbon footprint, to the renewable and recyclable materials used in 70% of their products, to the 2030 goal of being a climate positive company.
Fredrik also looks to the future, expressing IKEA’s desire to use or purchase green energy where it can, a challenge in Korea, still very much a coal-dependent country.
The interview wraps up looking at the fair trade aspects of the business model, how IKEA ensures that its suppliers, and sub suppliers receive a fair slice of the pie.
Today’s episode was brought to you by The Four Seasons Seoul, stylish elegance in the very heart of Seoul.