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I have written twice about Ikea‘s foray into Beijing.

Well, it seems Ikea has another huge Asian capital on its list of new super stores.

Ikea just opened a new store in Tokyo. What is different about this venture in to Tokyo is that it is the second time it has tried Japan. The first time was from 1974-1986. Ikea eventually gave up and went home. Fast forward 20 years and they are back!

The Funabashi store was so packed that guards struggled to control crowds at the store’s entrance and it took more than an hour just to pay! It sounds like a typical Sunday to me. Do you think the Japanese are peaceable always? They are not, when they are in an anonymous situation. I have been clobbered by grandmas half my size.

More than 35,000 customers shopped at Ikea yesterday in Tokyo.

Ikea already has plans for another store in Japan and hopes to have 8-12 more stores within 5 years.

But what about the first failed attempt? Kentucky Fried Chicken failed their first time, then went home did their homework and came back and succeeded.

Ikea has studied Japan’s consumer tastes and needs and lack of desire for do-it-yourself assembling and believes they have found the formula.

Time will tell.

Japan is still a great market…but you’d better do your homework first.

What do you think?

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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