Sweden’s furniture giant Ikea is expanding its reach still farther with a line of home electronics built into their furniture. A home entertainment system will go on sale in five countries this summer, then extended to the rest of the world next year.
“I think we can step in and create a new market, a new way to use home electronics in the living room,” said Ikea sales manager Tolga Oncu in an article in today’s edition of The Local.
Earlier this year Ikea created considerable buzz when it unveiled an all-Ikea furnished prefabricated house designed by the Portland, Oregon, architectural firm Ideabox. Entering the highly competitive consumer electronics market is likely to stir up the notoriously unstable market even further.
Not everyone is as optimistic as Ikea’s sales manager.
“It is a business where none of the main operators are doing particularly well,” said Jonas Amberg, a Swedish retail consultant. “This is an incredibly tough business.”
The first line of products from Ikea will be called Uppleva (“Experience”), meant for the living room, and will house a television and home cinema system.
“With this integrated audio-visual piece, we can offer attractive, wireless and affordable solutions to our many customers,” Amberg said. “Uppleva is an innovative step into a new market for Ikea."
According to an article on PCMag.com,Uppleva will feature an LED HDTV, Blue-ray player, and 2.1 sound system all installed complete in the single piece, with no need to purchase other accessories. Game systems can be added, and with Smart TV functions, access to Netflix and YouTube should also be possible.