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Authors:Ulf Johansson: Department of Business Administration, Lund University, Sweden
Åsa Thelander: Department of Service Management, Lund University, Sweden
Publication title:A Standardised Approach to the World? Ikea in China
Conference:10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden
Publication type: Full text not available
Article No.:028
Abstract:A theme that dominates the literature on international marketing is the question of standardisation and adaptation of marketing activities from a company point of view (e.g.; Baek; 2006; Levitt; 1983; Theodosiou & Leonidou; 2003; Szymanski& Bharadwaj; 1993; Lim; Acito & Rusetski; 2003) or from a consumption point of view (e.g.; de Mooij; 2004; de Mooij & Hofstede; 2002). The discussion has not really penetrated the field of retailing. With a few exceptions there are mainly general discussions on the subject (e.g.; Mårtensson; 1981; Salomon & Tordjman; 1989; Treadgold; 1991); there is not very much research in this area. It is a strange shortcoming as the literature on retailing seems to follow that of international marketing in general to a large extent.

There is also; among academics; increasing argument that one key success factor in international retailing has been adaptation of marketing strategies; rather than standardisation (e.g.; Cui & Liu; 2004; Dawson & Mukoyama; 2006; Rundh; 2003; Samiee; et al; 2004). This seems to be especially true for internationalisation in Asia and in China indeed.

The Swedish furnish retailer Ikea stand out among global retailers as they use a standardised approach to every market it enters. It looks and operates the same in every market. Or does it? Existing analyses of Ikea marketing strategy are either fairly old (Salmon & Tordjman; 1989) or are often done from a very general perspective (Salzer; 1994; Mårtensson; 1981); with little emphasis on marketing activities in specific countries and also with lacking understanding of what standardisation and adaptation might mean in a retail perspective. More recent studies (Edvardsson et al 2006) have a distinct service management perspective rather than overall marketing strategy perspective.

The aim of this paper is to analyse the Ikea marketing strategy for China; in the context of standardisation and adaptation of marketing activities.

The paper builds on both primary and secondary data. Interviews with senior managers at Ikea have been conducted and studies on business; retailing & consumer behaviour in China; from academic journals; trade press and management journals have been analysed.

Keywords:Retail; marketing strategy; standardisation; adaptation; Ikea; China
No. of pages:9
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet

Ulf Johansson, Åsa Thelander (2007). A Standardised Approach to the World? Ikea in China, 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden;article=028 (accessed 2/7/2016)