IKEA attracted by African trends – but no expansion south of Sahara

The Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, is tasking ten African designers from seven different African countries with coming up with a collection to be premiered in the company’s warehouses by 2019, reports DN Ekonomi. Both fabrics and furniture will be part of the new collection, as well as an updated version of the classic blue nylon bag, which has become silver because of the surplus production of chips bags to the warehouses. “We always design with a greater purpose. Our products are either meant to improve people’s everyday lives, or we try to create sustainable products,” said Hend Riad, who together with her colleague Mariam Sherif, run the design company Reform Studio in Cairo, Egypt, where IKEA recently opened a warehouse. Although a new, Africa-inspired collection will reach IKEA warehouses in two years, there are no plans to expand the company south of the Sahara (the only current warehouses in Africa are in Casablanca, Morocco, and Cairo, Egypt).

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Edgar Mannheimer is a journalist at Mundus News. Edgar has a passion for politics, foreign affairs and music. He grew up in Egypt, the US, Stockholm, and Jordan, following his mother’s job as a foreign correspondent. Bilingual with English as an academic language and Swedish as his mother tongue, he returned to Sweden to study at Lund University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies. During his time in Lund he was editor-in-chief of Radio UPF, the radio committee of the Association of Foreign Affairs, and also started a music program as a solo project. After Lund, he moved to Stockholm and recieved a Master’s degree in journalism from Stockholm University’s media institution, JMK.