How IKEA Flatpacks Evolve?


IKEA flat pack furniture has been re-setting global standards for home furnishing ever since 1956! It is far from coincidence that many of the top leaders in the furnishing industry are in fact based on the very same flatpack assembly concept IKEA is most famous for.

Flat pack Assembly Evolution

IKEA is among the first (if not THE) flat pack furniture retailers in the world. Have you ever wondered how the home furnishing giant constantly pushes innovation and creativity? The company aims to further improve efficiency and thus flat pack furniture pricing for all IKEA lovers.

Here is a peculiar example from a handful of IKEA’s most popular models – the Textur lamp, Ektorp sofa and Bjursta table. This will help us understand how the flatpack furniture pioneer manages to constantly push flatpack revolution worldwide!


TEXTUR – the Flat Pack Lamp Evolution


By improving the flatpack assembly itself, the IKEA company managed to reduce the final pricing by 34%!

Before the update, the flat packed lamp used to be built in 33 pieces, but now it is assembled in only 9 pieces.

This knock-down improvement allowed the retailer to reduce packing space by 27%, which on its turn increased the number of lamps they can transport and deliver from 80 to 128 per pallet. The extra 48 flatpacks stand for extra 37.5% in inventory shipped at the same cost!

By optimizing the flatpack assembly, IKEA managed to reduce the final unit price by the staggering 34%!

EKTORP – the Flat Pack Sofa Evolution


By upgrading their EKTORP sofa from an assembled item to a flat pack unit, the company managed to reduce the final price by 14%!

Before the upgrade, the sofa used to be a single pieced unit. Clients did not have to put anything together, nor follow tricky assembly manuals.

At a certain point in time, IKEA’s flat pack designers found out that if they improve the sofa and turn it into a ready-to-assemble unit, they will manage to reduce packing by the staggering 50%!

Flat pack assembly evolution led to reducing transport costs by more than 7000 home delivery trucks during the first year.

The result is quite impressive.  Now being a ready-to-assemble piece of furniture, the Ektorp flatpack improvement lead to the staggering savings of €1.2 million in for a single year!

BJURSTA- the Flat Pack Table Evolution


By reducing the weight of the BJURSTA flat pack unit, IKEA managed to reduce the price per flatpack by 28% and the comparison is from 2012 to 2011 alone.

Many furniture pieces are assembled from solid wood, but at a certain point IKEA’s designers realized that if they make hollow table legs, they could achieve impressive cost efficiency via weight.

At first it might not sound that impressive, but when you realize how much IKEA has managed to save on weight and timber you’ll start to understand.

Does better pricing imply quality loss?
Absolutely NO.


IKEA is a worldwide home furnishing leader and as a reputable brand it cannot sacrifice on quality. IKEA’s testing labs are quite amazing.

Flatpacks like the EKTORP sofa go through heavy hammering by robot arms, flat pack tables pass pressure tests and wardrobes go through flatpack hell.

Beds, mattresses, cupboards, drawers, all units pass a list of tests to ensure montage and assembly sturdiness, dismantling stress tests and the list goes on.

According to rumors, the flat pack pioneer plans to expand its testing lab in Älmhult up to 6.500 sq.ft.

As a result of all flat pack tests, the furniture company recalls a handful of products off its shelves each year.

In order to keep up with latest trends and consumer demand, the flat pack company has built and put together more than 100 testing facilities around the world! The approximate number of all read-to-assemble furniture tests is more than 100 000 per year!

Bonus! IKEA Turnover and Growth

ikea furnishing turnover, ikea stores, flat pack products data

What do numbers have to say?

  • IKEA aims to achieve 10% in growth per year;
  • Till 2013 IKEA had an average rise of 5% per year;
  • Growth in 2013 compared to 2014 was however only 3%;
  • But sales in 2015 rose by the staggering 11.2%;
  • Can flat pack furniture sustain this much growth and… profit?

The very essence of flat pack furniture is based on improvisation and creativity. The “How IKEA flat pack furniture assembly thrives and evolves” case study is only one of many examples and we are yet to see what the future has to show!

Dmitri Kara
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