March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Ikea, which became the world’s largest furniture retailer with reliable storage systems and flat-pack couches, has focused its latest temporary collection with products targeted at urbanites to boost its design appeal.
With PS 2014 -- the PS stands for Post Scriptum -- the company will sell 51 items from April 1, including a miniature greenhouse and a bench that doubles as a portable playground aimed at the increasing number of city dwellers living in small spaces. Prices range from $4.99 for an organizing wall rail to $189 for a desk that the retailer showed off today in the gym of an old school about to be turned into apartments.
The collection, which also includes a wardrobe resembling a cage, is Ikea’s eighth PS line since 1995. Like Hennes & Mauritz AB, which ties up with big-name fashion designers each year to create a temporary clothing collection to stoke excitement, Ikea relies on PS to lure in shoppers that might otherwise think they’ve seen everything the Scandanavian stalwart has on offer.
“It’s a brand statement,” range strategist Henrik Most said in a telephone interview. “We’re not doing business where we create a collection which will not return the investment, but the primary goal is not just to sell.”
Despite Ikea’s global following, it has plenty of detractors who dread visits to its crowded, maze-like stores and grind their teeth over missing parts and cryptic instructions when battling with its self-assembly products. In addition to the new products, Ikea is stepping up service offerings -- like online shipping and kitchen planners -- to help win over more shoppers.
While the previous collection, from 2012, drew from the Ikea archives, the new collection called “On the Move” targets today’s city dwellers that are poor on space. Items include corner cabinets and a leaning shelving unit that comes with hooks mounted on it. That product was inspired by Japan, where people are less likely to put holes in walls.
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