IKEA is an international home products retailer that sells flat pack furniture, accessories, and bathroom and kitchen items in their retail stores around the world. The company, which pioneered flat-pack design furniture at affordable prices, is now the world’s largest furniture manufacturer.

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. is a furniture manufacturing company headquartered in Arcadia, Wisconsin. The company is owned by father and son team Ron and Todd Wanek. Ashley Furniture manufactures and distributes home furniture products throughout North America.

The Ashley Companies (Ashley Casegoods, Ashley Upholstery, and Millennium) offer bedroom, dining room, and home office furniture. It is the largest furniture manufacturer and top selling brand of home furniture in North America. It licenses its name to more than 300 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Japan. It maintains a manufacturing facility in Whitehall, Wisconsin.


Much of IKEA’s furniture is designed to be assembled by the consumer rather than being sold pre-assembled. IKEA claims this permits them to reduce costs and use of packaging by not shipping air; the volume of a bookcase, for example, is considerably less if it is shipped unassembled rather than assembled. This is also a practical point for many of the chain’s European customers, where public transport is commonly used; the flat-pack distribution methods allow for easier transport via public transport from the store to a customer’s home for assembly.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore is a chain of independently owned and operated furniture stores licensed to sell Ashley Furniture products exclusively, including mattresses and accessories. As of September 19, 2008, there were 371 Ashley Furniture HomeStores operating worldwide.

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