Innovation That Matters

Covering up IKEA

Property & Construction

Bemz is a Swedish company that sells removable, washable slipcovers for sofas, armchairs and cushions, which is a cool business idea in itself, what with the ‘fast fashion’ trend dictating wardrobes and the living room. But we’re not talking just any sofas here – they’ve narrowed it down to seats by IKEA. Makes sense! Millions of homes around the world are furnished by IKEA, which means that Bemz started off with a huge potential market, as well as a limited number of sofas to design for. And while mass class products definitely have their advantages, most customers are eager to add a personal touch to their living quarters. On Bemz’ website, customers pick from various collections of fabrics for their chair or sofa. The slipcover is manufactured and delivered within 4 weeks after the customer places an order. Bemz uses natural fibers only: cotton for the fall/winter season, and a cotton-linen mix for spring/summer. New fabrics, patterns and colours are added regularly, giving consumers the option of changing their living room like they change their wardrobe, for the relatively low cost of around EUR 200 for a three-seat couch. Offering consumers the ability to customise what would otherwise be a standard product is an excellent offline example of what our sister publication has termed feeder businesses. How about selling decal kits for redoing plain-Jane IKEA shelving units? Or stylish silk-screened speaker covers for Apple’s new iPod Hi-Fi? And that’s just furniture and electronics. What’s the future Bemz of your industry?


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