In 1943, Ingvar Kamprad founded a mail order business called IKEA. The seventeen-year-old with the entrepreneurial spirit later began to sell furniture five years later. The first store was officially opened as Mobel-IKEA in Sweden in 1958. From there, additional stores began to spread throughout Europe.
By 2008, it became the largest furniture retailer worldwide. Known for its modernist designs, IKEA has established itself as the go-to source for furniture, appliances, and home decor. Furthermore, if you're looking into cabinetry as you remodel, IKEA has those areas covered too.
However, they're not the only business that has a niche when it comes to modernizing the look of a home. There are at least ten stores that are similar to the Swedish conglomerate. From the list, only one actually offers cabinetry design like IKEA does.
The rest may fall short in that category but are not entirely without their own connections to make it possible. All of them, however, feature the previously assembled and ready-to-assemble lineup of furnishings. Even at premium prices, this has been a favorite home decorating choice among consumers. For do-it-yourselfers, there really is no other alternative than what IKEA and their closest competitors have to offer.
For modern styles with modern convenience, along with the goal to be sustainable, AllModern shares IKEA's overall concept as a business. This company got its start in 2006 and is affiliated with Wayfair. If it's a contemporary design you seek, AllModern is guaranteed to have something of interest.
Just like IKEA, its online store offers a convenient ordering platform so customers can simply have their purchases brought to their doorstep without hassle. The connection AllModern has to Wayfair makes this a solid alternative that can compete with IKEA when it comes to furniture and home decorating ideas.
IKEA also likes to do mid-century, art deco-style furnishings as part of its product lineup. As a company, Article does the same. It jumped into the home decor industry in 2013 and has since steadily earned itself a reputation as a quality IKEA-like store that offers a good selection of products that cater to minimalists, as well as fans of contemporary design that like to mix a bit of the past with today's trends.
Article was originally founded as Bryght by Aamir Baig and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With the surging interest in sustainability, as well as minimalist lifestyles, Article's ability to keep up with the trends has turned this company into one of the businesses to watch due to its phenomenal growth. The more Article continues to expand, the more options become available as customers continue to look for IKEA alternatives.
3. Blue Dot
What Blue Dot offers is a luxury-level collection of contemporary furniture and home decor. Originally based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, three college friends decided to get together and build their business from the ground up. The year was 1997 when they chose to do this venture together. Two of them were architects while the third was a sculptor.
Together, their humble beginnings turned a three hundred square foot location into a business that would later earn itself a 2018 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in its Product Design category. If you're into original with the IKEA flair, Blue Dot is the place to go. Just like IKEA, you don't have to go to any of their physical locations to pick out the right look for your room. You can do this on their website as well.
Currently, there are twenty-four CB2 locations in North America. All but two are located in the USA. As for the Canadian locations, one is in Toronto, Ontario, while the other is in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, even if you don't live near their stores, you can order online, just like IKEA. From their warehouse, CB2 will deliver what you've purchased to your own doorstep.
In addition to offering furniture and home decor items, CB2 also has design services, as well as connections to local contractors who can help iron out solutions to help cater to the customer. CB2 comes from Crate & Barrel. It serves as a store perfect for fans of modern furniture and its unique brand of style.
CB2 was first launched in 2000 in Chicago, Illinois. Before this, Gordon and Carole Segal opened their first Crate & Barrel store on December 7, 1962. As a couple in their young twenties, it was their vision to bring forth furniture and home decor design with young adults in mind.
The inspiration behind the furnishings for the Segals came after spending their honeymoon in the Caribbean. While there, they got their first taste of European household products at affordable prices. When they returned home, they opened up their 1,700-square-foot shop in part of an old elevator factory at 1516 North Wells Street.
At the time, it was a bohemian town called Old Town before it was incorporated as part of Chicago's cityscape. Exactly as the name Crate & Barrel suggests, the imports came in crates and barrels that would be sold to interested customers. Since 2000, with CB2 as part of the Crate & Barrel infrastructure, this business continues to expand with new acquisitions and ventures. As each year passes, it bears more resemblance to IKEA.
5. Floyd Home
Based out of Detroit, Michigan, Floyd Home offers furniture and home decorating solutions for customers who embrace modernized lifestyles. Much like IKEA, Floyd Home also takes sustainability seriously as a manufacturer and seller of items.
Floyd Home got its beginnings in 2014 when the founders, Alex O'Dell and Kyle Hoff, began a Kickstarter campaign to launch a business that cost them $18,000.00 USD just to get it off the ground. Since then, Floyd Home has joined the ranks as a resource for home furnishings and accents designed for the contemporary home. As of 2021, Floyd Home has become a multi-million dollar business that continues to expand its reach as a premium IKEA-style outlet.
6. H&M Home
H&M Home shares the same business model as IKEA, as well as the design concepts and inspirational styles. Just like IKEA, it's not limited just to furniture. The company also offers accents, as well as random items to help beautify the interior of a person's home.
As H&M Group, the company has brought together a family of brands and businesses that focus on sustainable lifestyles with a unique blend of fashion and design. This all began in 1946 when Erling Persson traveled from his Swedish homeland to America. At first, he began to sell women's fashion after he was inspired by his visit to New York City.
In 1947, he opened up his first womenswear store in Vasteras, Sweden, called Hennes. This is Swedish for "Hers." It didn't take long before Hennes became a famous logotype. The company expanded, opening up additional stores throughout the Swedish landscape, including Stockholm.
The "H" in H&M stands for Hennes. As for the "M," that began in 1968 when the company began to include men and children in its selling platform. Nowadays, H&M Group has become a corporation that has a multitude of stores, each specializing in niche products, including H&M Home. Instead of fashion for the body, it's fashion for the home.
Just like IKEA, JYSK comes from a humble Scandanavian background. What started out as a single store in Denmark has now become a giant since its 1979 start. This global retail chain of stores is owned by the family-owned and operated Lars Larsen Group.
Lars Larson is the founder who opened the first JYSK store, which was in Aarhus, Denmark. JYSK is franchised with thousands of stores across the globe. As far as locations go, JYSK seems more neighborly as there are very few large communities that don't have at least a JYSK affiliate in their midst.
The head office of JYSK is now in Brabrand, Denmark JYSK's website also allows online shopping experiences that are designed to cater to the concerns of each nation it does business with. Room for room, JYSK has it covered, at least as far as furnishings and home decor is concerned.
8. The RTA Store
Just like IKEA, the RTA Store features a ready-to-assemble store that caters to customers who are looking to modernize the look of a specific room. RTA serves as the store's acronym, pointing out the obvious. RTA shares a similar setup when it comes to cabinetry and room design.
In 1969, the RTA Store began its furniture business out of Hopewell Junction, New York, USA. Now in its fourth generation, the Ackermans continue to run their family-owned and operated business. In 2008, RTA expanded itself into offering kitchen solutions to the company's showrooms. Just like IKEA, RTA has its own website that offers its products and services online.
Just like IKEA, Umbra offers nation-specific products and services that share the same contemporary designs as a furniture outlet. If you live in America, Umbra has a setting that will adjust its website to make it more accommodating.
The same is true for Canadians, as well as any online shopper that Umbra will deliver to. The start of Umbra began in 1979 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It has since expanded to serving over 120 countries worldwide.
Les Mandelbaum and Paul Rowan are the founding fathers. It was their vision to work with international designers around the globe to bring innovative designs to interested customers. Umbra has been in business for over thirty years, and with great success. They're not about to go anywhere anytime soon.
10. World Market
World Market is loaded with enough products that can easily rival IKEA's lineup in almost every category there is. If you're looking for furniture, World Market has it. The only thing World Market doesn't have is the cabinetry options like IKEA does but when it comes to everything else, they have it all.
If you're needing something brought to you, just order online as their website is easy enough to navigate so you can find what you're looking for. World Market's humble beginnings began in 1958 out of San Fransico's Fisherman's Wharf. A traveling businessman turned his shiploads of goods into a favorite market that had customers lined up, ready to buy whatever he was selling.
Now with its headquarters on solid ground, along with a series of store locations scattered throughout the USA, World Market continues to sell to anyone and everyone willing to buy. When ordering online, however, it only caters to the American market. Unlike IKEA, it hasn't gone global yet. However, with vendor relations available, this is something that can easily be rectified.
Aside from the ten stores listed, visiting conglomerate shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy also offer just about everything IKEA has to offer. With current trends leaning more than ever in favor of minimalism and sustainability, stores are cashing in on this. Many are adopting IKEA's business platform and style.
Several online shoppers have favored AllModern, Umbra, and Wayfair over IKEA. JYSK has also become another major favorite. These IKEA alternatives are just as versatile when it comes to product selection and style.
Much like IKEA, all the stores mentioned encountered COVID-19 issues that resulted in the need to revamp their business models. Pair this up with the explosion of e-commerce transactions done online, and the need to keep up becomes necessary. Each of them also had to contend with supply and demand issues that were brought on by the complications that arose from the pandemic.
Now with the combination of political and social issues plaguing the nations, businesses like IKEA continue to adapt according to the whims of the customer. Supply and demand continue to be an issue at a worldwide level. However, IKEA's reach isn't limited. This can also be said about their top competitors.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson