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Ikea is cloned in Kunming

By : Agencies|Updated: 2011-08-02

A welcome poster is displayed next to a dining room design idea at an 11 Furniture Store in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan province, July 28, 2011. The store, which resembles an outlet of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, is one of a number of Chinese businesses replicating the look, feel and service of successful Western retail concepts. [Agencies]

Nestled in a sleepy southern district of Kunming city in southwest China, is a 10,000 square metre, four-storey building that could make Swedish furniture giant Ikea uneasy.

11 Furniture, as the store is known, copies Ikea's blue and yellow colour scheme, mock-up rooms, miniature pencils, signage and even its rocking chair designs. Its cafeteria-style restaurant, complete with minimalist wooden tables, has a familiar look, although the menu features Chinese-style braised minced pork and eggs instead of Ikea's Swedish meatballs and salmon.

Brands are much more than a logo on a handbag or some half-eaten pipfruit on a computer.

Many of the most successful consumer companies have invested millions in promoting and building brands which encapsulate ideals, values and aspirations, creating valuable and loyal customer bases that sometimes border on cults.

Last month, an American blogger set off a media storm after she posted pictures of an elaborate fake Apple Store in Kunming, selling genuine if unauthorized iPhones, Macbooks and other widely popular Apple products.

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