So hot on the heels of the fake Apple Store story comes the “fake” IKEA story, coincidentally also in the western city of Kunming. Well, not really. Some people disagree, but I think there’s a difference between “copycat” and fake. Fakes are basically trying to fool consumers in to thinking they are genuine and using the exact same logo / brand name of a well known brand. Copycats or what marketing people sometimes call “me too” products do not use the same name, although they may use something similar and they may take on similar appearance of the original brand, but there’s no mistaking it for the original brand.
This store obviously is taking a lot of the characteristics of the Swedish global giant, but importantly, it isn’t calling itself Ikea. What it has done is called itself “Eleventh Furniture” which in Chinese does sound similar (Shi Yi Jia) to the Chinese name of Ikea (Yi Jia).
No, I’m not saying this is perfectly okay, but it’s not quite the same as impersonating the real deal.
For once, I was surprised that the readers comments from The Daily Mail were fairly blasé about this article: “I think they also have supermarkets, don’t tell me the Chinese steal the idea from Tesco too” rather than the usual outrage at “those cheeky Chinese”. Or maybe they just don’t sympathise with the Swedish company and its unrelenting quest for world domination in the furniture business. They’re basically the furniture version of Apple!
WoAi predicts the business won’t be a roaring success, unless they introduce meatballs and cheap hot dogs. That’s all I go to Ikea for at least!