Dating at IKEA China: An Unexpected Management Challenge

Hellmut Schütte (First Author), Jocelyn Probert (Participant Author), Sumelika Bhattacharyya (Participant Author)

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


When IKEA opened its Shanghai Xuhui store in 2003, it adopted some strategies, such as opening the store in the city center rather than in the suburbs, that diverged from its normal practices. After all, the Chinese market was different and therefore required different strategies. However, little had IKEA anticipated that “being different” would entail the congregation of as many as 700 seniors at its restaurant for dating purposes! What normally would have been good business for the restaurant became an unexpected management challenge as the dating seniors only partook of free coffee, which came along with their IKEA family card. The case illustrates the challenges that the store faced and how it met them while maintaining the IKEA vision to the greatest extent possible. The learning objectives are to: (1) understand how different geographies can bring unexpected managerial challenges for international managers; (2) examine the China-specific experience of a company; and (3) analyze the importance of company vision in the face of management challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • Comprehensive Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Ikea China
  • Organizational culture

Case studies discipline

  • Ethics & Social Responsibility

Case studies industry

  • Retail Trade


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