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Old 11-19-2003, 12:08 PM   #1
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Who needs the government when we've got IKEA

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedes trust IKEA, purveyor of affordable assemble-yourself furniture and Swedish meatballs in 22 countries, more than their own government, politicians, media or trade unions, according to a new poll published Wednesday.

The only institutions they respect more than the creators of the Billy bookcase are schools and universities. Even the maker of the ultimate safe family car, Volvo -- the car business now belongs to Ford -- ranks lower than privately owned IKEA.

IKEA furniture is ubiquitous in Swedish homes and those who miss home-cooking when they are abroad pop into its restaurants to load up on herring and meatballs with lingonberry sauce.

The survey commissioned by MedieAkademin, an independent media forum backed by Gothenburg University and local media, was carried out by pollsters NFO Infratest on 740 people in October.

Asked how much they trusted a list of institutions, 66 percent said they trusted IKEA a lot or quite a lot, compared with just 47 percent expressing the same level of confidence in their parliament and only 18 percent in political parties.

The European Commission (news - web sites), the EU executive which got a taste of Sweden's euro-skepticism this year when it rejected the EU single currency in a referendum, ranked bottom with 14 percent.

Universities and highs schools topped the ranking at 84 percent, public service radio ranked equal third with Volvo. The flagship Swedish company Ericsson (news - web sites) ranked low at 26 percent. The telecoms firm is laying off thousands of workers in a savings drive, but recently returned to profit after years in the red.

Privately-owned IKEA has stores from Shanghai to San Francisco and a Swedish public relations consultancy -- not commissioned by IKEA, but by local business daily Dagens Industri -- issued a "world economy index" this week based on prices of its goods around the world.

It ranked IKEA prices in 15 of the 22 countries that host its 154 stores, visited by 286 million people last year.

Similar to existing indexes of McDonalds' Big Mac burger or the Mars Bar, it found that exchange rates and consumer tax levels made IKEA cheapest in the United States and dearest in Finland -- a neighbor of Sweden and major timber producer.

Nordic neighbors Denmark and Norway were also "expensive in IKEA terms" according to the survey, as were Spain and Belgium.

"Sweden ranks fourth cheapest, the cheapest overall is the United States, followed by the Netherlands, Germany then fourth Britain and Sweden," said Jonas Eriksson of PR firm Hallvarsson & Halvarsson, which intends to publish the index yearly.

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Old 11-19-2003, 01:42 PM   #2
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Old 11-19-2003, 01:52 PM   #3
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Dieman is in Hawaii, but I would like to see his view

I would have to say I trust IKEA more than my own government too.

I don't see the big deal about that.
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:38 PM   #4
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Heh. Nice to know my workplace is trusted out there. I'm getting rather sick of it myself, though.
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:43 PM   #5
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Why don't YOU shop where Santa shops??
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Old 11-19-2003, 05:45 PM   #6
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Where ya going with this, IKEA boy?
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Old 11-22-2003, 10:39 AM   #7
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A friend of mine met with IKEA officials on a real estate transaction. They had lunch at the IKEA office - grilled cheese sandwhiches on paper plates and cokes. The meal was explained as part of the IKEA "philosophy".
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Old 11-22-2003, 10:28 PM   #8
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Same as the finery of our kitchen...only the best paper for our teenagers!
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Old 11-23-2003, 10:30 PM   #9
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I got a garlic press made by ikea yesterday.

it's amazing.

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