Last week, Swedish furniture retailer Ikea recalled 29m Malm chests of drawers in North America, following the tragic death of three children in the US.
The drawers had toppled over, despite advice from the company to use wall mounts along with the product. Ikea has received 41 separate reports of tip-over incidents since 2014,17 of which resulted in injuries to children.
Consumers have been offered either a refund or a free wall-anchoring kit. Ikea has also promised to be at the forefront of a campaign designed to promote awareness of the issue throughout the industry.
YouGov BrandIndex shows the story has had an impact on the brand’s perception across a number of markets.
As one might imagine, the story has proven most damaging in America. Ikea’s Buzz score has decreased rapidly over the past seven days, falling by 14 points in that time.
It’s a similar story in the UK, where Ikea’s score has decreased by six points and in Germany where the drop is 11 points.
When it comes to consumers’ perception of the brand’s quality, the US is again the market causing the greatest concern for Ikea.
Looking at this metric, the situation is alarming. Ikea’s Quality score halved in the space of a week, falling from has decreased from 28 to 14.
By comparison, in Germany there has been a more gradual decline throughout the month. In Britain, the score seems relatively unaffected by recent events, though it is six points lower than at the start of June.
However, the good news is that Ikea’s overall Value score remains relatively untroubled – in the UK at least.
While this remains the case, Ikea can be assured its offering will continue to be popular.
As I’ve mentioned several times in this column, Ikea should be thankful that it has such a strong brand image, and indeed one that people around the world have a connection and loyalty to.