You Need Cheap Furniture, Now!

Very interesting story on the near-cult-like inner workings of Ikea — an empire apparently even bigger than Microsoft!

The Mållen clip doesn’t look like much, and yet it represents, in microcosm, a vital Ikea strategy: the way the company decides what you need before you’ve even realised you might need it. The clip, Vinka explains, is for hanging up magazines in your bathroom: you attach a magazine to the metal clip, then hang the rubber ring over a towel hook. “This is one of the articles that is selling most in the Mållen range today,” she says. “You don’t want your magazines on the floor, do you? They’d get dirty and wet.”

It had never occurred to you, presumably, that you might want to hang up magazines in your bathroom. But Ikea had already decided that you would. And the brilliant but scary part is this: once you’ve seen a row of magazines hanging up in one of Ikea’s showroom bathrooms, each neatly suspended at 45 degrees from a Mållen clip, it takes a will of steel not to find the magazines in your own bathroom, now you come to think of it, almost offensively disorganised. And so you think about purchasing the Mållen clip.

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