Will the joking stop now that IKEA furniture can be assembled in minutes?

Discussion
Source: IKEA video
Mar 07, 2017
George Anderson

If you Google “IKEA jokes” you will find pages of articles, jokes and videos poking fun at how difficult it is to assemble the Swedish furniture giant’s flat pack furniture. Here’s one from Joke Blogger’s Ham on Wry that may resonate: “I’ve only seen my dad cry once in my life. It was in 2001 after the collapse of the IKEA bookcase he was trying to assemble for nine weeks.”

One may wonder what would happen if IKEA ever produced furniture that was easy to put together. Would there be anything that could stop the company from world domination? That may be a question with an answer since, according to reports, IKEA has developed a new type of joint called a wedge dowel that allows furniture to snap together easily. The new joint works so well that the furniture can be taken apart and reassembled without losing structural integrity.

IKEA began testing the wedge dowel in 2014 with its Regissör storage products and Stockholm cabinets. Response from customers was so positive that IKEA is now using the dowel in its wooden Lisabo table and plans to expand its use across all its furniture lines.

Jesper Brodin, IKEA’s range and supply manager, someone who probably has less difficulty putting together the company’s furniture than the typical customer, told Dezeen, “I actually put together a table, which used to take me 24 minutes to assemble, but took me three minutes to click together.”

IKEA Today – Wedge Dowel from IKEA Today on Vimeo.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will easier-to-assemble furniture mean for IKEA’s business growth in the years to come? Will IKEA’s use of wedge dowels create large numbers of copycats within the furniture industry?

Braintrust
"I love this innovation because it can only mean more and better hacks, and more fun content and idea-starters to find on the Web and via mobile."
"Many people have trouble assembling IKEA furniture — true. But do you really think that’s hurting sales?"
"I just came across a rumor on the dark web that some Silicon Valley kids are secretly developing a robotic drone-delivered table..."

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16 Comments on "Will the joking stop now that IKEA furniture can be assembled in minutes?"

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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

Amen. I predict the divorce rate will decline. Consumers love IKEA and now I suspect they will love them even more.

Kim Garretson
BrainTrust
3 months 15 days ago

In addition to the jokes, I really enjoy the IKEA hack sites where DIYers have fun assembling the goods in unique ways. Buzzfeed is addicted to these hacks with numerous listicles featuring these creations. I love this innovation because it can only mean more and better hacks, and more fun content and idea-starters to find on the Web and via mobile.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

Hooray. I hope there will be copycats.

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

I actually was not aware that their furniture was hard to assemble. It has always been easier to read and understand than most “assembly required” goods. At any rate this is a huge win for us, the consumer. IKEA is already a winner for most.

And yes, look out for the copycats because this could really put others out of business if it works like they say. For my 2 cents.

William Hogben
BrainTrust

Amen – people who say IKEA is difficult have typically not assembled much else and don’t have a broad perspective.

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

Can you spell PATENT?

Tom Redd
Guest

Well, as an Boomer I survived the furniture that kids had to have and used it to train them to be handy. Two of my kids failed. Two of them learned a lot and also learned ways to make the furniture last longer. Anyone who has trouble with IKEA furniture assembly probably gets high grades, is great at any video game and spends way too much time socializing — ONLINE.

For the rest of us we know the IKEA system and feel that drawers were the only challenge that area. None of our IKEA work fell apart and we added to the IKEA standard to make tables and shelves more stable and stronger.

Good move IKEA for less negative noise — but in some ways this will create a generation that is mindless when it comes to basic construction and reading directions.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

If you can make interacting with an already iconic brand a better experience, then more power to the IKEA brand. However, lets all hope that the safety standards and overall IKEA brand quality are not impacted by making an already easy installation process even more sustainable.

I suspect that this move will be extremely popular with the Millennial crew.

William Hogben
BrainTrust

Many people have trouble assembling IKEA furniture — true. But do you really think that’s hurting sales? IKEA is the most economical furniture retailer, with enormous range of styles and a one stop shop for an entire home. I sincerely doubt customers are saying “forget it, assembly is too hard — I’ll go elsewhere, pay more, get less and have it brought pre-assembled on a truck.” My prediction is that ease of assembly is NOT costing IKEA sales, and any boost will be from the unique possibilities that new mechanisms have for design.

Ben Ball
BrainTrust

Now who will need to update “IKEA for Dummies”?

A rite of “first living space” passage will disappear for generations. Though truth be told, it is only those living in urban centers who have ready access to the IKEA experience.

The good news is that there is still a plurality of the population living in flyover country who know how to actually build stuff.

Joan Treistman
BrainTrust

It was always a major victory for my husband when he correctly assembled IKEA furniture. Making their furniture easier to assemble is a major victory for IKEA. Lots of victory dances in their future among prospective consumers, too. Bravo!

James Tenser
BrainTrust

I just came across a rumor on the dark web that some Silicon Valley kids are secretly developing a robotic drone-delivered table that assembles itself then folds and flies its own corrugated packaging back to the factory for recycling. No instruction manual included — just download the augmented reality app.

Uh, no. I guess the unfunny jokes aren’t over yet.

Ben Ball
BrainTrust

Jamie, can I get the website on that?

Karen S. Herman
BrainTrust

IKEA’s commitment to innovation continues with the wedge dowel. In addition to making furniture easier to assemble and disassemble, this is a sustainable design move that reduces the use of metals for fasteners and screws and gets rid of those hex wrenches, Allen keys, whatever you want to call them, and all the extra packaging that comes with each product purchased. Bravo IKEA!

Kate Munro
Guest

Now it’s time to work on lowering the divorce rate for those who shop in their stores. Assembling the furniture has not been so much the joke recently as the experience meandering through the store with a significant other on sensory overload.

Sky Rota
Guest
3 months 15 days ago

First of all, I cant watch a video in another language. They have cool stuff and it should be easy to put together. Its about time. Who cares if people copycat? Dead Pool is still going to make fun of them because of the crazy names of their stuff.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I love this innovation because it can only mean more and better hacks, and more fun content and idea-starters to find on the Web and via mobile."
"Many people have trouble assembling IKEA furniture — true. But do you really think that’s hurting sales?"
"I just came across a rumor on the dark web that some Silicon Valley kids are secretly developing a robotic drone-delivered table..."

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