IKEA To Furniture with Integrated Electronics
IKEA the Swedish furniture retailer known for its massive stores and occasionally confusing to assemble furniture, has reportedly reached an agreement with Chinese electronic firm TCL, who will develop and build electronic components to be integrated into a new line of IKEA furniture. Aimed at eliminating the clutter of electric cords found in many homes, the line of furniture will be released in five European cities in June and will be available in all markets next summer.
According to an IKEA spokesman, the furniture will come in three designs, the cheapest to retail at about $960. All three designs come with an LED TV, a sound system with wireless bass speakers, and CD, DVD and Blu-ray players, all built into the furniture with their cords hidden within. The spokesman declined to offer an outlook for sales or profit expectations for the new venture, but indicated that IKEA’s ability to offer lower prices than competitors make the venture a solid one.
The joint venture with TCL isn’t the first non-furniture initiative for IKEA, which has sold appliances through a joint venture with Whirpool for the last ten years and joined forces with Electrolux for another line of appliances last year.