According To IKEA, We've Hit 'Peak Home Furnishings'

According to IKEA, We've Hit

IKEA's head of sustainability reckons that Western consumers are at the limit in terms of stuff they can actually buy, a situation he's referred to as "peak home furnishings". Speaking at a conference organised by The Guardian, Steve Howard from IKEA explained:

If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I'd say we've hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings.

That's not to say that he sees IKEA selling less, adding that "on a global basis, most people are still poor and most people actually haven't got to sufficiency yet. There is a global growth opportunity ... but it's a distribution issue".

In fact, the Guardian reports that IKEA plans to almost double its sales by 2020. But it might mean that sales in the West plateau. Perhaps it will make money from hacking existing products rather than selling new ones?


Image by Jason Farrar



    “on a global basis, most people are still poor and most people actually haven’t got to sufficiency yet. There is a global growth opportunity … but it’s a distribution issue”.

    I want to see this realization in more markets to the point that corporations start lobbying governments to improve that distribution so that they can... make more money.

      That would be an interesting thing. Governments investing in improving poor countries to create new markets for companies back home.

        "Here, unwashed masses who we've extracted the lifeblood from over decades through to centuries... have some of your wealth back, so you can give it back to us."

          To be fair, it's probably the only way rich countries would ever make any attempt to improve the lot of said unwashed masses.
          Harness that greed for the sake of slightly less evil.

        Well, that's basically what "trade liberalisation" is.

      Theres been a video running about for a few years showing refugees, and how big the problem is.

      The story uses local earnings to make its point, with something like 50% of the worlds population earning less than $2 a day, at least at the time. Well worth spending the time to watch by the way, its a powerful explanation.

      Anyhow, the arguments put forward work in a number of ways, economy included. If half the world earns less than $2 a day, how are they going to afford an IKEA cabinet?

      Likewise, wheres the return on investment for the companies most able to afford to invest? There are reasons third world countries are used for manufacturing, and reasons they get paid $2 an hour - which by local standards is pretty good.

      For better or worse, not everyone has the luxuries of the first world, but people assume its easy to get them there. Its not, and as they say, getting them self sufficient is pretty damn hard.

      Thats not having a shot at anyone by the way, just wanting to share a pretty good and visual demonstration on the problem in general.

      IKEA the fools!
      if they make every country as rich as the west, where are they going to get their cheap labour that provides their profits?

    Isn't that why most things are designed to break after a few years, and then need to be replaced?

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