IKEA: Swedish for “Up yours, Denmark!”

I heard some amusing news about IKEA on Friday, but forgot all about it in my rush to get home during the snowstorm.  Fortunately, I made it home in one piece and didn’t have to cut the tauntaun open and spend a night braving the elements on ice planet Hoth.  Anyway, on with teh funnay:

DENMARK is fed up being treated like a doormat by the Swedish furniture giant Ikea: Academics in Copenhagen claim to have discovered a pattern at Ikea whereby high-end items — chairs, beds and home furnishings — are named after Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian towns whereas doormats, draught excluders and runners are named after Danish towns.

“Swedish Imperialism,” claims Danish academic Klaus Kjller of the University of Copenhagen. Together with his colleague Professor Trls Mylenberg of the University of Southern Denmark, he conducted a thorough analysis of the names in the Ikea catalogue. They concluded that the Swedish names are reserved for the “better” products, and that even Norwegian names manage to make it into the bed department. But the “lesser” products bear Danish names such as “Roskilde” and “Kge”.

— Alan Hall, “Scandalised Danes say they won’t be Swedish Ikea’s doormats“.  The Age, March 8th, 2008.

Behind the smiling blonde faces, bikini teams and excessive use of birch veneer, furniture apparatchiks have quietly resurrected Karl XIII‘s dreams of pan-Scandinavian imperial glory.  IKEA’s PR flacks deny it all, of course, but then they would even if IKEA were a front company owned by Hank Scorpio.

I have to say that I am disappointed that our own Hudson’s Bay Company—the continent’s oldest commercial corporation—didn’t think up such a brilliant, underhanded way of insulting its neighbours and competitors.  Let me give you a hand, HBC.  In order to foster national cohesion, I propose the following naming conventions for your wares:

  • Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Office etc: Towns in Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories
  • Rugs, Doormats, Sanitary Products: Varies per province.  In Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, these products will be named after towns in Ontario.  Alberta will also have its own special line named after members of the Trudeau family.  In Ontario, they will be named after neighbourhoods of Toronto (i.e. Rosedale, North York, Scarborough).  In Toronto, they will be named after suburbs of the GTA (i.e. Markham, Burlington, Pickering) and famous Americans.  You get the idea.

If you do it right, you could boost sales through the roof.

Category: Industria, Miscellania
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