Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea fame seems to have caught a case of the Walt Disneys. Like the wealthy animator, the Swedish furniture magnate is dipping his company’s toes into urban development. But don’t expect slavish reproductions of the big box stores, as Doug Sanders reports at the Globe and Mail:
As the Ikea people repeatedly tell anyone who will listen, this place will not be an Ikea. There will not be Poäng armchairs adorning the living rooms and Billy bookcases covering the walls. The houses will not require Allen keys to assemble. Meatballs in lingonberry sauce will not be served at the restaurants. And there will not, the company insists, be an Ikea store anywhere in or near the neighbourhood.
And like Disney, Ikea plans to keep a close eye on what happens in the development:
“We would have a fairly firm line on undesirable activity, whatever that may be. But we also feel we can say, okay, because we’ve kept control of the management of the commercial facilities, we have a fairly strong hand in what is said in terms of the activities that are held on site.”
Despite Ikea’s protestations, this sounds exactly like a Disney development.