Swedish furniture firm Ikea has instructed its lawyers to consider whether a newly opened store in southern China constitutes an infringement of its trademark.
“For us it is very important to protect Ikea’s brand and the expectations of the customer. This includes soft values such as customer service and security,” said Ikea Sweden spokesperson Ylva Magnusson to The Local.
“When a customer goes somewhere else and thinks they are in Ikea, then it could harm our brand.”
The warehouse has been opened by Chinese firm 11 Furniture and is located in the city of Kunming in Yunnan province in southern China, according to a Reuters report.
The store is reported to constitute 10,000 square metres spread over four floors, featuring similar signs, furnished rooms and yellow and blue colour scheme of the popular Swedish firm.
Ylva Magnusson told The Local that the firm’s franchise operator Ikea Systems has instructed its lawyers to look into the matter.
“The legal department is going to look at this and see if our trademark has been encroached,” she said.
This is not the first time however that Ikea has been hit by similar problems.
“Ikea is a strong brand and it has happened that parts of our concept have been copied before, but not an entire store concept,” Ylva Magnusson said.
Magnusson added that part of the firm’s strategy for combating the spread of counterfeit goods is to continue to open new branches in China to meet demand.