Ikea's New Plan for Japan

After one failed attempt to penetrate the Japanese market, is the second time the charm for the Swedish home-furnishings empire?

Its first attempt to crack the Japanese market was a bust. Now, two decades later, Swedish home-furnishings giant Ikea is giving it another go with a gleaming new mega-store just east of Tokyo. The first time out, Ikea's stores were too small, and few Japanese consumers were willing to assemble Ikea's do-it-yourself kits. Now the chain is striving to blend Swedish design concepts into a much more Japanese shopping experience. And consumers seem willing to check it out. An Apr. 24 opening ceremony, complete with a traditional Swedish log-cutting, lured an estimated 35,000 shoppers to the five-story 40,000-square-foot store.

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