ROOM: AN EXPERT’S VIEW: The launch issue of Ikea’s magazine fails to make an impact on Rozalla Brydon

The reason that Ikea stores have as much appeal as they do is probably because of (or in spite of) the convenience, the functionality, the simplicity and the efficiency of shopping there - all typically Swedish characteristics.

The reason that Ikea stores have as much appeal as they do is

probably because of (or in spite of) the convenience, the functionality,

the simplicity and the efficiency of shopping there - all typically

Swedish characteristics.



It’s nothing to do with your relationship with the store or its staff,

or any particular feelings of warmth and familiarity a visit may

generate.



That’s fine for Ikea perhaps, but it’s not for a magazine, particularly

one trying to enter an already crowded market where so many titles do

the job so well.



The first issue of Room, Ikea’s magazine, is a strange mix of ideas and

editorial, to say the least.



The cover is at best functional, simple and efficient, but that’s

all.



More practically, the shape and size of the magazine makes it difficult

to stack with all the other home interiors titles.



Inside, there’s ’The story of Ikea’ - a bit egotistical. What will it

follow that up with?



There are some quite good pieces on furniture and design in a broader

sense - from customising ideas for a chest of drawers and an interview

with the actress, Amanda Donohoe, which was totally irrelevant other

than the fact that she was photographed sitting on an Ikea chair.



Other store magazines cover a much broader range of issues, because the

stores themselves do, and have regular items of everyday interest -

fashion, food etc.



I really don’t want a whole issue telling me about Sweden, Swedish

things and Swedish furniture. I’m looking for good, interesting writing

and more wide-ranging ideas about the home.



If I want to find out more about Ikea products and how I could use them,

there’s already a magazine that can help me - the Ikea catalogue.



Rozalla Brydon has recently married the deputy managing director of CIA

Medianetwork.



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