Ikea cracks down on French fan’s website

A French blogger and Ikea fanatic has incurred the wrath of Swedish furniture giant after he created a website called Ikeapedia in the chain's honour.

Ikea cracks down on French fan's website
Ikeapedia? No thanks says Ikea. Photo: Gerard Stolk/Flickr
French blogger Loic Bréat, 36, is a serious Ikea fan. So much so, in fact, that he has created two websites in the store's honour.
The first, IkeaAddict, was made back in 2009 for French fans of flatpack furniture and still boasts thousands of fans and followers on social media channels like Facebook and Pinterest. 
His latest project, Ikeapedia, categorizes everything that Ikea has ever made – including instruction manuals and a question/answer section for those struggling to assemble their product.
But the Swedish giant is having none of it, and has threatened legal action if the Frenchman doesn't take the website offline, reported French channel BFM TV on Thursday. 
Ikea is notorious for its brand protection. An incredibly popular website called Ikea Hacker, which publishes user modifications of Ikea furniture, was also threatened with a cease and desist order from the chain last year. 
The site remains up and running today after an outcry from the public saw Ikea backtrack, with a spokesperson saying in a statement that the company regretted the incident deeply. The site currently has over 250,000 fans on Facebook. 
Not all brands have such a staunch protection of their name. Nutella once tried to put a stop to “Nutella Day”, which was invented by a fan, but later embraced it to great success. 

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Ikea to finally set up shop in central Paris after picking location

Paris will soon get its first Ikea store after the Swedish furniture giant announced it had found the appropriate location in the heart of the French capital. But the store will be a little different to normal.

Ikea to finally set up shop in central Paris after picking location
Photo: AFP

From the summer of 2019 Parisians will no longer have to take the Ikea bus or their own cars to get to an Ikea store.

Bosses of the Swedish furniture giant announced on Monday that they had found the appropriate location for their store in the heart of the French capital.

The store will open above the Decathlon store, on Boulevard de la Madeleine near the iconic Madeleine church in the 1st arrondissement of the capital. It will fill the void left by the branch of C&A which has closed down.

Ikea already has seven stores around the Paris region but had always had their eyes on opening an outlet in the capital itself. 

“This project is part of our brand's strategy to get closer to our customers and open stores in city centres to facilitate access to IKEA for urban dwellers,” said Ikea France.

The store will be spread out over two floors covering an area of 5,000 square metres.

That might sound enormous at first but the average out-of-town Ikea stores are spread over 20,000 square metres.

That means store designers will be presented with a unique challenge.

“We are starting from a blank page. It won't just be a store that's a quarter of the size of our other outlets but a whole new format,” said Walter Kadnar, the boss of Ikea France.

“We're looking forward to bringing IKEA to Paris. This new kind of store is a real experiment, and it will allow us to develop our Democratic Design approach in a new way to respond to Parisians' habits and expectations, for example by proposing solutions adapted to small spaces.

“It's an extraordinary opportunity for us to work in this new way and accelerate our multichannel approach,” said Kadnar.

That means not all of the furniture giant's offerings will be on display but a selection of products focused more on home decoration. It has stated it won't store any furniture on site.

Although Parisians will be able to buy furniture at the store and pick it up at a depot that will be built at Gennevilliers to the north of Paris in 2019.

The store also announced to plans to develop deliveries by waterway from its depot in Gennevilliers which is located by the River Seine. And it hopes that the redevelopment of the roads around the Madeleine church will also allow the store to develop a bicycle delivery service.

France is Ikea's third largest market and the central Paris store will be the company's first in the centre of big cities and will soon be followed by ones in London, New York and Riyadh. 

In all, Ikea says it plans to invest €450 million in France over the next three years on new stores and enlarging existing ones.