How Ikea took over the world


Contrary to popular belief Ikea didn’t take over the world with its cheap meatballs. The secret behind its massive global expansion was huge amounts of research designed to figure out not so much how cultures differ, but how they intersect.

A study of 8,292 people in eight cities, examining morning routines found that people are the fastest out the door in Shanghai (56 minutes) and the slowest in Mumbai (2 hours, 24 minutes) helped the company design a free-standing mirror with hooks for necklaces and clothes.

Fortunes’s Beth Kowitt explains how knowing details like these got the flat pack giant where it is today. 

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