Ikea and Swedish Walls

Ikea and Swedish Walls

I was recently involved in a staff exercise for the well known Swedish furniture store, Ikea, working with staff to build a small stretch of wall. I researched Swedish walls and on the morning the stone duly arrived, massive Swedish-sized boulders of lovely Cornish granite. It was hard work manoeuvring them off the pallets and into position, many could not be lifted. The quarry had also forgotten to send any infill but the stones were so big it did not seem to matter. The exercise seemed to work with a number of members of staff coming to help. I was the only one concerned with how it looked. Anyway, eventually, after a few amendments it was completed. So, somewhere at the back of an Ikea store you will find this iconic wall built by Ikea staff. I’m not telling you which Ikea store. If anyone wants a Swedish wall building it will cost you, unless you have loads of very large spare stone, and plenty of filling.

Every year Ikea has a “Swedish” day to make staff and the public aware of Ikea’s origins and ethos. They serve reindeer meat, red cabbage, crayfish and other Swedish delicacies in the restaurant. Ikea’s founder Ingvar Kamprad came from a part of Sweden called Småland where there are miles of old stone walls.  Many of these walls are massive. They were built in the 1800s to clear the land for farming. The stones were so large they had to use carthorses and a tripod built from tree trunks to swivel the stone into place. Many of these walls are now beautiful landscape features, often almost entirely covered in green moss. People who come from this region are famous for working hard so this is part of Ikea’s ethos. This is where the wall building comes in.

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