IKEA's global impact during the Aughts was as much about the experience the Swedish retailer provided at its giant blue stores as it was about well-designed, affordable furniture. Somewhere along the lifestyle-driven showrooms, play areas for children, and restaurants serving cheap yet tasty food (who doesn't like their meatballs?), looking for home furnishings became a family outing/date/leisure activity rather than a stressful shopping trip. Result? In 2008, IKEA did 21.2 billion euros in sales, up from 12.8 in 2004. That's a shit load of Lack, Ivar, Bjursta, Leksvik, and (enter weird Swedish/Norwegian/Scandinavian word here) units they moved...
YOU AUGHTA KNOW:
IKEA's annual catalog, first published in 1951, is now the third most printed book in the world after the Bible and Harry Potter.