Ikea is taking shape on what is now called Ikea Way in Merriam.
By JOYCE SMITH
The Kansas City Star
A steel frame has been erected atop the precast concrete parking structure at Johnson Drive and Interstate 35. The worlds leading home furnishings retailer plans a fall 2014.
Ikea officials also were in town last week to speak at the American Marketing Association of Kansas Citys 2013 seminar held at Avila University. About 320 people attended the event.
Derrick Liburd, regional marketing manager for Ikea, gave a brief history of the Swedish company, its corporate culture and the values that have contributed to its international success. Among the values make sure customers get the help and products they need at the prices they need, and employees are treated like family. Ikea also is continually increasing its sustainability efforts.
Along with nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, Ikea offers its customers inspiration by having three model home interiors and 50 room settings, along with a new app that lets them see just how a piece of Ikea furniture would fit into their home.
Its not just, Oh, you want a coffee table, theres a coffee table, Liburd said. Ikea also shows its customers how to use its products in unique ways, perhaps a spice rack used as a wall display for flowers.
Ikeas tagline, The Life Improvement Store, is defined as offering something that lasts, that is beautiful and will make the customer happy, that will offer a big change for a small price, and that will improve the customers everyday life. (If your chair doesnt wobble, then your life is improved.)
The company considers its designers its rock stars. They start out with the price say making a well-designed lamp that will sell for $9 and then decide how to do it and still offer quality.
Low prices mean nothing without value, Liburd said. A key part of the brand concept is never being satisfied.
The Merriam store will be the 40th U.S. store for the company. Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943 and now has more than 340 stores in 42 countries.
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• After remodeling, Subway plans to open in a former Dairy Queen building at 315 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Kan., later this year.