Posted by Abe Sauer on August 1, 2011 10:00 AM
In China, fake Apple stores in Kunming are so yesterday. Now, it's all about the fake Ikea.
Copying the Swedish furniture-maker's characteristic blue and yellow branding, “十一家具" or "Eleventh Furniture" is a huge, multi-level store that sells mod furniture and even has an in-store cafe, just like Ikea. Take a closer look below and tell us if you think Ikea should be concerned.
Much like with the fake Apple store examples, those working there do not seem to care much about working for a carbon copy.
Asked about the similarities,an employee shrugged her shoulders and told reporters "If two people are wearing the same clothes, you are bound to say that one copied the other. Customers have told me we look like Ikea. But for me that's not my problem. I just look after customers' welfare. Things like copyrights, that is for the big bosses to manage."
It's not just the bricks and mortar branding that's been lifted; Eleventh Furniture's advertising and "catalog" even copies Ikea's, even if its website, 11jiaju.com does not.
Ikea is likely aware of its Kunming clone, as Chinese bloggers noted Eleventh Furniture's Ikea likeness last year.
It's also noteworthy that this knock-off Ikea store is in Kunming, in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, the same city in which the fake Apple store was found. Apparently, copycat retail branding is something of a cottage industry there these days.
In fact, city officials may be missing a branding opportunity: "Visit Kunming, Knock-off Capital of the World!" Or the copycat slogan: "What's copied in Kunming, stays in Kunming... until you buy it and bring it home!"
[Ikea images via]