“Chinese Retailers Hijack the Ikea Experience in Fast-Growing West”
In an August 1, 2011 article on Reuters, Booz & Company Principal Adam Xu (China) said sophisticated counterfeiters that no longer just pump out fake luxury handbags, DVDs and sports shoes but replicate the look, feel and service of successful Western retail concepts—in essence, pirating the entire brand experience—represent a significant trend in China’s retail world. “This is a new phenomenon,” Xu said. “Typically there are a lot of fake products, now we see more fakes in the service aspect in terms of (faking) the retail formats.” A case in point is 11 Furniture, a store in Kunming, China, which copies Ikea’s blue and yellow color scheme, mock-up rooms, miniature pencils, signage and even its rocking chair designs. Many successful consumer companies have invested millions in promoting and building brands which encapsulate ideals, values and aspirations, creating valuable and loyal customer bases that sometimes border on cults.