email ikea to bring back the great frosta stool…………(and where to buy one until they do)

One of the very best products that Ikea has carried over the years was their plywood Frosta stool. It is a fine ripoff of the famous Alvar Aalto stool, but cost only $12 (as opposed to $300+). It is no longer available in the United States, but is available in other countries, including France, Italy, Ireland and Sweden. It was featured prominently on Ikea’s Swedish blog recently, with ideas for painting the stools in stylish way;  to us that array of Frosta’s is like a pile of French macaroons we weren’t allowed to eat.

We find ourselves now treating the four Frosta stools we’ve had for years as though they were as precious as Aalto stools. They are endlessly useful as side tables and impromptu seating, and stack to store out of the way. We’ve seen many great hacks using the bent-plywood legs as shelf brackets, speaker holders etc …

We’ve written Ikea twice to ask why, what the possible logic could there be to dictate such a decision; we haven’t heard back. So we have to two ideas:

-one, is to flood Ikea’s Contact Us with requests that they return the Frosta stool to US stores. Just fill out their contact form (be sure to select “no local store”) and then tell them you want to be able to buy the Frosta stool in American stores. It’s easy and takes no more than a minute to do: an Ikea Action.

-the second is a strategy for those that absolutely need to have one or two or a few immediately: Ask a friend in Europe to buy you some and mail them OR bring them if they are coming this way…or do it yourself if you happen to be going that way. They come flat-packed, aren’t very heavy, and are so inexpensive, that it well may be worth paying the extra freight.

apartment therapy

Meanwhile, we recently when on a scouting expedition to Ikea and will report on our finds soon in an upcoming post.

Related posts: essential Ikea: stacking stool
hacking ikea: throw away the book!
stylish improvs on ikea
thanksgiving logistics: makeshift tables + chairs
ikea hack: furnishings into clothes (and back again)

12 Responses to email ikea to bring back the great frosta stool…………(and where to buy one until they do)

  1. ellen 01.13.2012 at 7:39am #

    Hi, Missed you over the holidays – happy to be back to “normal”. While I agree that the Frosta stool is wonderful, my love is the Bekvam step stool. We don’t have any Ikea stores near us but we do have three of the step stools. Every time I am anywhere near an Ikea, I have to suppress the urge to get another – my husband doesn’t quite understand this urge… So far I haven’t felt the need to do any hacking – can’t imagine how many we would own if I were to start!

  2. Judy 01.13.2012 at 3:52pm #

    Hi,

    I am from Canada and just checked the 2012 catalogue and while it looks like they have discontinued the stools here also (which I was unaware of!) they are selling a rendition, the Marius stool, which is stainless steel and plastic, $9.99 cdn in light blue, light pink and black, which could be an option. Not as cool but workable.

    Judy

  3. hannah 01.14.2012 at 11:17am #

    They just wrote me back with this which seems patently false since it’s still available in other stores!! My parents are in Hong Kong and my sister is in Norway so I may just shell out for shipping.

    Hello Hannah,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

    Unfortunately, once an item has been discontinued, it is no longer
    manufactured by our suppliers. IKEA products are not discontinued
    based on sales or consumer demand, but on product availability. This
    process allows IKEA to open space to introduce new products to the
    range.

    We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you, and
    we hope that you will continue to be a loyal and important IKEA
    customer.

    Best Regards,
    Julie
    IKEA Customer Care Center

  4. Sally 01.14.2012 at 11:35am #

    Hi Hannah, I got the SAME formula response back. So I wrote back and said “How can it be discontinued if it is being sold in stores all over Europe?” I’m waiting for a reply. I would like to create an uproar about this. It would be fun and then we might all get Frosta stools in the US again.

  5. hannah 01.14.2012 at 8:27pm #

    Ha, I wrote back the same question. I have had a plan to replace my coffee table with an arrangement of four painted Frosta stools ever since you posted about them originally; I found one on Craigslist and will not rest til I get the other three!

  6. Sally 01.14.2012 at 10:27pm #

    I’ve heard directly from a few other readers who got the same formulaic reply. I’m urging them to write Ikea back and ask for a REAL explanation, and to voice their desire for the Frosta stool to be available. Ikea is just too big to be at the mercy of their suppliers. I wonder what is really going on.

  7. Jim 01.16.2012 at 8:39am #

    It would be interesting to see how they’d respond to a message like:
    “I notice you’ve abandoned the Frosta design. Could I please have your permission to make my own? In order to cut my costs, I would make a few hundred extra and offer them for sale to my friends and family. Thanks!”
    My guess is that you’d get some very personal attention fairly quickly.
    Jim

  8. Sally 01.16.2012 at 6:58pm #

    After I wrote back several times asking for clarification, I got a slightly embellished reply to the original that basically says that the powers-that-be in “Corporate” control decisions of what goes:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

    Unfortunately, the Frosta stool has been discontinued and is no
    longer being manufactured by our suppliers. IKEA products are not
    discontinued based on sales or consumer demand, but on product
    availability. This process allows IKEA to open space to introduce
    new products to the range.

    We apologize but we have no control over the products that IKEA
    Corporate from Sweden discontinues products here in the United
    States. The geographic locations are different from country to
    country and IKEA finds that products may sells better with the
    European than the U.S. or may sells here in the U.S. and not in the
    European countries. IKEA is always changing products around the
    world on availability.

    We hope this has clarify some of the questions regarding the
    discontinuing of products here in the U.S.”

    I thought I write back and ask how to contact “Corporate” in Sweden.

    Stay tuned (or write Ikea yourselves…).

  9. evie 01.17.2012 at 11:14pm #

    In response to requesting the frosta stool, this is the response I received. Oh well…

    Hello Evie,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

    Unfortunately, the Frosta has been discontinued and is no longer being manufactured by our suppliers. IKEA products are not discontinued based on sales or consumer demand, but on product availability. This process allows IKEA to open space to introduce new products to the range.

    We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you, and we hope that you will continue to be a loyal and important IKEA customer.

    Best Regards,
    Julie
    IKEA Customer Care Center

  10. Sally 01.17.2012 at 11:25pm #

    Thanks for posting your form letter. I’m just in the process of writing up the contradictory responses I’ve gotten as I keep pushing for answers to their silly replies. Stay tuned for the latest….

  11. Vitriolita 01.21.2012 at 4:52pm #

    Just o short hello from Munich: I bought three Frosta chairs today, and there are a lot more of them in the shop. They are stapled in the standard range, far away from items to be discontinued. You can check on diferent european websites that Frosta is availabble, cheepest in Portugal and Spain. So sorry for you, hope it will come back! Thank you for all he nice ideas I find here from time to time.

  12. Sally 01.22.2012 at 12:46pm #

    Thanks for the update. I am about to write a snail mail letter to Ikea to see why they won’t sell the great stool in the US or Canada. In the meantime, we’ll have to figure out how to get them from Europe.

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