IKEA posts record profits for 2011

Christopher Werth Jan 20, 2012

Adriene Hill: If you’ve ever put together a piece of IKEA furniture, you probably know the frustration of operating those awkward little screwdrivers — but also the appeal: price. Those low prices have helped protect the Swedish company, even in the middle of the European debt crisis. Ikea made a record $4 billion last year.

Christopher Werth has more.

Christopher Werth: Many of us have at least a few things at home that are made by IKEA.

I called Matthew Stych, an analyst at the retail consulting firm, Planet Retail. He says he does too.

Matthew Stych: It was pretty much all I could afford.

And he says that’s why IKEA is doing so well. When money’s tight, people look for bargains. During the downturn, and continuing through the European crisis, IKEA has actually lowered prices — despite that fact that the price wood and other raw materials keeps rising.

And Stych says, IKEA is becoming even more of a global enterprise.

Stych: Part of the growth that we’re seeing is coming from emerging markets. So last year it opened numerous stores in Russia, finally, and also in China as well.

And now IKEA is eyeing India. Last week, India opened its markets to big foreign retailers. Add another billion bargain hunters to IKEA’s list.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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