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Ikea Idea: Yerevan Gets First Taste Of Home Furnishings From Popular E


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#1 MosJan

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 02:33 PM

IKEA idea: Yerevan gets first taste of home furnishings from popular European retailer
By Sara Khojoyan
Special to ArmeniaNow
Its trademark gold-and-blue signs and boxy stores are well known throughout Europe and a fixture of the suburban shopping experience in North America, but until a few months ago IKEA was mostly unknown in Armenia.

“HyeKEA”
Now home furnishings from the huge European company are being sold through a retailer on Komitas Avenue in Yerevan, and represents one of the latest of well-known international name brands—such as Victoria’s Secret, Hugo Boss and Ermenegildo Zegna--available in the capital.

Store manager Edit Gharabed said the local shop opened February 2 under a franchising agreement with IKEA that allows customers to buy IKEA-brand products at the shop and order furniture through the retailer’s catalogue.

“Ours is not an IKEA store, it’s a household store where we sell IKEA products imported from Germany,” Gharabed said.

“We had done no preliminary studies. But, to be frank, we didn’t expect so many people to have heard of IKEA in Yerevan,” she said.

One Yerevan shopper, Tsovinar Yapounjian, first stepped into the world of IKEA while visiting the United States in 1989. “It was a huge store where every kind of thing was sold, from furniture to candles. My friends had to take me out of there to an appointment after walking around for three hours. I also visited the store the next time I was in the US.”

It was Tsovinar’s daughters who told her about the Yerevan shop. “They know about my passion for IKEA and they once said: ‘Mom, there’s an IKEA store in Yerevan, you know.’”

“The impression I got from my first visit was rather surprising. The store looked like a model of IKEA and it seemed that what I’d seen in the States was just going to open up in front of me,” she said. “There is no place for walking, and I saw everything there within half an hour,” she said.

IKEA is widely popular among Europeans and Americans, where the company’s furniture and household products are known for being stylish, good quality and affordable. Young, mobile apartment dwellers are also drawn to the retailer’s European designs and easy-to-move furniture.

The company got its start in Sweden more than 60 years ago and today is owned by INGKA Holding B.V. of the Netherlands. According to its corporate Web site, the IKEA Group has 231 stores worldwide, of which some 200 are run by the company, and the others are operated as franchises.

IKEA had sales of 14.8 billion euros (18.6 billion US dollars) in 2005, with the European market accounting for 81 percent and the United States and Canada 16 percent.

IKEA considered opening a large store in Yerevan, according to Gharabed, but ultimately ruled it out.

“The Armenian market is too small for this. In 2005 people from IKEA came here and studied the local market, but no store was opened because they had not seen the potential for realizing that large-scale production,” she said. “And that’s why this is the only way to sell IKEA products in Armenia.”

Two shop assistants work at the store: Hasmik Amirbekyan and Saro Boick.

“We have customers every day,” Boick said. “On some days there are few customers, but still we do sell something.”

According to Boick, some customers buy goods just because they have the IKEA name, but most buy because of the reasonable prices and style.

“If you buy one of our products in Germany and bring here, it will cost the same as in our store,” the manager said.

According to IKEA’s corporate information, it is able to offer quality and style for low prices by keeping stores and products simple--most of its furniture comes in pre-packaged boxes that are easily stored in its warehouse-like stores. Buyers select their products themselves and arrange for their own delivery.

IKEA stores are usually large, stand-alone “big box” outlets with few windows. They are designed around a "one-way" layout that takes shoppers through a sequence of showrooms featuring furniture, housewares and other products before getting to the checkout area.

The small Yerevan store cannot accommodate a wide range of furniture, so shoppers can choose what they want from a computer and place their order. Gharabed said furniture, sofas and bookcases are delivered within four to six weeks.

“Style and clear colors are of utmost importance for me about IKEA products, as well as the absence of any shines or luxury. The first couple of times I visited the store to just look around, but now if I am to buy a present, I know where to search for it,” said Tsovinar, the potential customer.

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, an octogenarian with a reputation for being thrifty, got his start with a small furniture shop in Sweden. In 1954 the first big IKEA store was opened in a suburb of the Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. Today, the Forbes business magazine estimates his personal worth at $28 billion.

Sara Khojoyan is a journalism student at Yerevan State University and participates in a training program sponsored by USAID/Armenia (http://armenia.usaid.gov), administered by the International Center for Journalists (www.icfj.org), and supported by ArmeniaNow.

#2 Sip

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 03:26 PM

Haha ... HyeKEA is great!!! Next we will have Hye-undai dealerships, BaHye-Fresh Burritos, and Bud W-hye-ser beer showing up in Yerevan.

Hey, maybe it's a good thread to see what other store/business names people can come up with!

#3 MosJan

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 04:49 PM

Sip see if you can do this one smile.gif then we will join you

Zangu Chiken apricot.gif or apricot.gif Chuck E Cheese's

#4 Yervant1

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 04:56 PM

QUOTE(Sip @ May 12 2006, 05:26 PM) View Post
Haha ... HyeKEA is great!!! Next we will have Hye-undai dealerships, BaHye-Fresh Burritos, and Bud W-hye-ser beer showing up in Yerevan.

Hey, maybe it's a good thread to see what other store/business names people can come up with!

Wal-Marte-Hye
Hayr-Mer-cedes

#5 MosJan

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 04:57 PM

Hye Produse

#6 Yervant1

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:03 PM

QUOTE(MosJan @ May 12 2006, 06:49 PM) View Post
Sip see if you can do this one smile.gif then we will join you

Zangu Chiken apricot.gif or apricot.gif Chuck E Cheese's

Chuck E Cheese's = Sip E CheeseHead

#7 Eva

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 12:21 AM

i am soooo gladdd, i love Ikea, today i was talking to my aunt from Yerevan , and they are very excired...

#8 Vanetsi

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 09:21 AM

Excellent. Now Armenia can enjoy the pain of cheap "flimsy" furniture!
Just kidding. This will help make Armenia's economy more "sturdy." tongue.gif

#9 Anileve

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE(Vanetsi @ May 14 2006, 11:21 AM) View Post
Excellent. Now Armenia can enjoy the pain of cheap "flimsy" furniture!
Just kidding. This will help make Armenia's economy more "sturdy." tongue.gif

Amen! I like the way some of their stuff looks, but boy is it flimsy! Most of my furniture bought from Ikea is already falling apart. But it's fun to buy and assemble. I prefer antique, cherry wood furniture. But you are right, it's good for the economy.

#10 gamavor

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:57 PM

QUOTE
But it's fun to buy and assemble.


No thanks! Been there done that! smile.gif Some of Ikea stuff are cool. Most are suitable for college students. What I like about Ikea are the prices, although some are expensive.

#11 Zimuel

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:56 PM

Good to know that in Yerevan has an ikea store or what they called now "HyeKEA." I would say that they sell very cheap furniture. I think you will enjoy shopping there in this store.

#12 Harut

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:52 PM

what's good about it? another global conglomerate flooding the market with cheap imports and putting the local small businesses out?

#13 Zartonk

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:57 AM

I have to hold my table up when I eat. :mad:

I Wonder how business is for IKEA Yerevan after 4 years...




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