Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Alex Santos journeyed to his local Ikea with a singular mission: the procurement of a new Poäng chair.

It was a simple in-and-out task. But 3 hours later, the 37-year-old IT manager found himself in the parking lot, slightly stupefied, with a shopping cart full of hand towels, throw pillows, and martini glasses.

Click here to read the story at

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is an “impulse” purchase?
  2. Why do you think so many Ikea purchases are “impulse” buys?
  3. Do you think that is part of Ikea’s marketing strategy?
  4. This news story suggests Ikea’s way of doing business is “extremely unorthadox.” What does that mean?
  5. Why do you think Ikea’s strategy is so unique?
  6. How is Ikea’s store layout different from traditional retail locations?
  7. According to this news story, what purpose does that layout strategy serve?
  8. What is one example of Ikea’s “tricks”, according to this story?
  9. What is “decoy” pricing?
  10. From a product design and development perspective, how does Ikea keep prices low?
  11. How does Ikea’s food court concept impact sales for the company?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.