The Independent (UK) on Sunday, 15 May, (read it here – premium content) reports that Ikea is dominating a market you wouldn’t expect. They have had a wedding in a (Canadian) store, their famous in-house branded meatballs have become legendary and their restuarants have become the first choice for many couples on Valentine’s day. An estimated 10 per cent of Europeans are now conceived on the store’s beds. Elen Lewis, the book’s author, said many Ikea staff believed that the brand was good for a couple’s sex life because of its obsession with flatpack design.
The queues for the car park are enough to push many couples to breaking point. But a new book claims that a shopping trip to Ikea improves marital harmony. Great Ikea! A Brand for all People (but it online at
The book attributes much of the store’s success to the fact that its self-assembly furniture allows men to reclaim their hunter-gatherer roots, and so keep their relationships healthy – by demonstrating to their wives and children that they are capable of masculine tasks. In Sweden, the aseembly of a piece of Ikea furniture has now become the standard final act of a stag night out.
This reminds me of the story (I cannot remember the details, so please remind me if you do), of the company in the 1950s (or so) that first gave us instant cake mixture. They couldn’t get it to sell, because the generation of the day needed to feel that they were actually working hard to bake. So, they changed the recipe to say “just add an egg”. They didn’t need to, but it gave the women something to do to actually bake the cake. Their sales rocketed after this.
Maybe Ikea has found the same secret with men!

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