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Market Entry Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

IKEA in Japan: The Market Re-entry Strategies

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Rupesh, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: Home Furnishings & Housewares Retail


Case Code: MES0043

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available


In April 2006, IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer, forayed into Japan by opening its second-largest store outside Sweden. The opening of the store marked the re-entry of IKEA into the Japanese market after an unsuccessful 12 years stint between 1974 and 1986. Although the company has planned to 'act local' by customising its offerings according to Japanese preferences, it still expects to face several challenges from the Japanese customers who are known to be inconsistent and unpredictable, and have forced many a foreign retailer to exit from Japan.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the need for global companies to understand consumer needs and preferences in each of their markets and adapt their offerings accordingly
  • To understand the dynamics of the Japanese retail and home improvement market
  • To analyse the reasons behind IKEA's failure in Japan in its first entry (1974-1986) and the factors that encouraged it to re-enter the Japanese market with the ensuing challenges
  • To debate whether IKEA, which is known for its standard offerings across the globe at the lowest price, would be able to win fastidious Japanese customers through customised offerings.

Keywords : Japanese retail market; Japanese home improvement market; IKEA's first time failure in Japan; Consumer behaviour in Japan; Foreign retailers in Japan; Japanese furniture retailers; Japanese real estate market; IKEA as a cult brand; Low price strategies of IKEA; IKEA's growth strategies in Japan; Market Entry Strategies Case Study; Japan's economic growth

Contents : 
Japan’s Economic Growth and the Home Improvement Market
Business Cycle and Unemployment in Japan
Global Commercial Real Estate Market
Global Office Markets
How IKEA Creates the Low Price
The IKEA Brand
IKEA’s Initial Foray into Japan: The Strategic Missteps
IKEA’s Re-entry into Japan:AStrategy Makeover?
IKEA’s Pre-launch Promotion in Japan
IKEAFunabashi Store Information

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Currency Exchange Rates

Case Study :
   INR 200 = USD ($)

Structured Assignment:
   INR 150 = USD ($)

Teaching Note :
   INR 400 = USD ($)


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