the ikea ‘frosta stool’ saga (tell us what you think!)

Ever since we wrote about the discontinuation in America of Ikea’s great Alvar-Aalto-esque Frosta stool, – it is widely available in Europe – we have been involved in a curious correspondence with Ikea’s Customer Service Department; it has been a bit “like pulling teeth” (though much more pleasant) to get the information we are looking for.

When we wrote to ask why the Frosta stool is no longer being sold in America, we were told “Unfortunately, the Frosta stool…is no longer being manufactured by our suppliers.”.

When we asked why the stool is sold widely in Europe and not in the US – hence must be available from distributors –  we got the original email with a chunk added: in addition to being unavailable from suppliers “we have no control over the products that IKEA Corporate from Sweden discontinues products here in the United States.” Confusing. Here’s the whole statement:

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.

When we asked for an email address so we could write Corporate headquarters to clarify things and to voice our concern, we were told:

Unfortunately, we have no email address for IKEA in Sweden to
provide. You are welcome to contact our customer relations
specialists at the following address:

IKEA Customer Relations                     
420 Alan Wood Road 
Conshohocken, PA 19428 

We wrote back to say that we HAD contacted Customer Care (them, several times, including Richard, Debra, Marion and Julie). Since they ultimately put the onus on Ikea Corporate, we felt the most direct route was to contact Corporate Headquarters in Sweden. So we asked them AGAIN to please supply a name and address we could write to.

We got this reply from Mike:

Thank you for your reply.  We are glad to hear from you again.

For any additional inquiries you can write to the following address:

Inter IKEA Systems BV
Olof Palestraat 1
NL 2616 LN Delft
The Netherlands
Fax: 31 15 215 3838
Phone: 31 15 215 3815

If you should have any additional questions, please let us know.  We
will be more than happy to assist you.

We emailed back thanking Mike and asking him if he could provide an email address and name of a specific person to contact, which we find to be a more direct route.

Kimberly wrote back to say “We do apologize for we do not have an e-mail contact to provide. “

H-mm-mm. We wonder if it will do any good to call or write. Think we’ll trying calling first.

We are pursuing this because we really would like to understand Ikea Corporate’s logic in discontinuing a product that seems so popular as to be almost iconic (and a great advertisement for the company).

Meanwhile, we’ve heard from a number of readers who, when they wrote Ikea asking about the stool, received the first form email we got.

Stay tuned…

And please tell us if you would like to be able to buy the Frosta stool here in America, or just don’t care. We’d love to know either way. Just fill out the Comment box below: “yes to Frosta”, “no to Frosta” will do.

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

68 Responses to the ikea ‘frosta stool’ saga (tell us what you think!)

  1. Hannah 02.06.2012 at 7:10pm #

    Yes yes yes to frosta!

  2. Claire 02.06.2012 at 8:37pm #

    yes to frost

  3. Barbara 02.06.2012 at 9:19pm #

    Yes to frosta

  4. Andrea 02.06.2012 at 10:09pm #

    Yes To Frosta – can yo also work on Trader Joe’s who always discontiue favorites?
    thanks,

  5. nameKarin koller webb 02.06.2012 at 10:20pm #

    I bought two at Target….at the time it also came in a walnut stain.

  6. Linda 02.06.2012 at 11:22pm #

    Must admit I may be enjoying your intensity and dogged focus on finding out, “WHY NO FROSTA?!”, more than wanting Frosta available here in the USA.
    But now that it is not available, I will probably be faced with needing several dozen. What if I find a group of artists who want to decorate a Frosta to auction for charity? (what if the charity was for colon cancer research – “check” your stool) Or if a friend needs to seat many guests affordably… or a fun activity at a wedding playing musical chairs?
    I’ve changed my mind YESSSS! FROSTA!
    Cheers!

  7. Dianne 02.07.2012 at 7:38am #

    yes to Frosta!

  8. Niheala 02.07.2012 at 7:52am #

    Yes to Frosta

  9. Susie 02.07.2012 at 8:11am #

    Yes to Frosta! I checked with customer service at a store when I went to purchase and it was no longer there :( — and emailed ikea after your last post. Here’s the response I got:

    Thank you for your interest in IKEA. We appreciate that you have
    taken the time to contact us.

    Unfortunately, once an product has been discontinued IKEA no longer
    brings the item back.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We
    appreciate your feedback and value your opinion.

    Best Regards,
    Debra
    IKEA Customer Care Center

    btw, about 10 years ago I found a shorter version on the frosta — a childs table and stools, called the Smulan. My kids were infants but I bought it anyway (it was packed flat) and stored it until they were older. Also now discontinued, it was another one of the best ikea purchases ever made. Here’s a version you can still purchase in the States (a lot more expensive than ikeas, and not as coloroful)

    http://www.guidecraft.com/product/0/G81045/_/NORDIC_TABLE_SET_-_NATURAL

  10. Yola 02.07.2012 at 8:30am #

    Would love to see the Frosta return!

  11. Sally 02.07.2012 at 8:30am #

    The response you got was their form letter. I would love to make a “stink” about this, and let Ikea know that we want that stool sold here. I’m going to pursue it at Ikea’s headquarters but think it would be a great help if their customer service were barraged with requests for the stool.

  12. dot 02.07.2012 at 8:47am #

    Yes to Frosta. I have them around my house and find all kinds of uses for them. Might an American company make them? There are still some furniture companies in the US that make solid wood furniture. Also, one of my earlier stools I bought at Target. Maybe Target would be interested in selling them again? But the Ikea saga is very interesting.

  13. evie 02.07.2012 at 9:47am #

    Bring it back. Tell us where to write, who to contact. It worked for SOPA and PIPA, why not FROSTA?

  14. Sara 02.07.2012 at 11:14am #

    Yes! to Frosta. Now that I’ve read about it, I think I could use several.

  15. helen pine 02.07.2012 at 11:48am #

    yes, to frosta

  16. Adrienne 02.07.2012 at 9:23pm #

    Yes to the Frosta!

  17. mim supsinskas 02.08.2012 at 5:10pm #

    Yes to Frosta Stools!

  18. Hayley Rothenberg 02.19.2012 at 3:44pm #

    very disappointed that these are not for sale.
    I need the Frosta

  19. Tres 02.24.2012 at 1:24pm #

    Yes, please!

  20. Kristy 02.28.2012 at 1:43pm #

    I just saw these stools in the catalog today and was so excited to see that Ikea has them, only to find out they don’t – in the US. I stumbled on your site while trying to track some down. Hopefully you can convince them to bring them back to the US!

  21. Sally 02.28.2012 at 6:37pm #

    We’re still working on a strategy. The more people that let us know, the bigger number we can throw at those idiots.

  22. E.FONG 03.05.2012 at 1:12am #

    FROSTA STOOL – YES!

    I was hunting them down this weekend and found out the news that they were discontinued.
    I had some great plans for them in my office. Sad.

  23. Sally 03.05.2012 at 9:37am #

    I’m thinking that if I will compile the list of comments and requests and see what happens sending them to Ikea….and calling Sweden as well.

  24. jj 03.22.2012 at 2:46pm #

    most people associates the name ikea with sweden…not so.
    they used to be out of sweden, then their headquarters where in denmark, then they moved the headquarters to holland …where it is at the present.
    looking for an email dialog with ikea, good luck…they are the most elusive compagny i have ever delt with. my impression is that the individual ikea stores are independantm privately owned and run stores, so it is difficult to complain about anything ‘ikea’ related.

  25. Sally 03.22.2012 at 3:05pm #

    Thanks so much for the info. From our reading, we’ve been concluding the same thing. We’ve been getting a major run around and imagine we will continue to. I think they are idiots.

  26. chrisrocco 03.22.2012 at 4:02pm #

    I schlepped 2 of them back from Italy with me this Christmas. I plan on having friends bring more in May. Seems one could make a pretty penny by importing them and selling them at a profit. I know people who might pay $20 a pop !

  27. carla 03.27.2012 at 11:29pm #

    yes

  28. Gail in Brooklyn 03.29.2012 at 12:05am #

    Yes to Frosta in the U.S!

  29. Celine 04.28.2012 at 12:18am #

    After a seemingly hopeless search, I finally found these deadringers for the Frosta on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040AGL0E/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

    If you add it to your cart, you’ll find that the price is a low $38 for 4 stools! Mine should arrive in a few days. Fingers crossed that they’ll look just as good in person!

  30. Gloria 05.25.2012 at 8:31pm #

    Yes, from one sadly disappointed.

  31. Sally 05.28.2012 at 3:43pm #

    Here’s a possible solution/alternative. http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/04/30/found-frostaalvar-aalto-stool-knock-off/

  32. Jackie 05.30.2012 at 6:12pm #

    Yes to Frosta! I’ve been wanting 1-2 more. They’re great to have around for extra seating for guests.

  33. Jackie 05.30.2012 at 6:13pm #

    I’ve checked the Linon set out on Amazon, but I don’t want 4 for $74.99. I just want 1 or 2 at the low low Ikea price.
    I remember that Target used to sell these too, but can’t find them on their site.

  34. hannah 06.13.2012 at 1:16pm #

    My sister brought me some over from Norway and I painted them yesterday. FINALLY!

    http://instagr.am/p/L0kdioLTHs/

  35. April 06.16.2012 at 12:12pm #

    yes! Looking for two at the moment. Guess I will have to persuade my friends in France to bring me two this summer when they visit. Strangest thing ever.

  36. Sally 06.16.2012 at 2:13pm #

    One alternative is this knockoff we posted about. A friend just got a set and said the wood was lighter than the original blond Frosta.

  37. Cindy K. 06.22.2012 at 12:04am #

    Yes to Frosta! Danka!!!

  38. Heather 06.22.2012 at 11:40am #

    Yes to Frosta! The saddest part for me was that I didn’t know they were discontinuing it in the US, otherwise I would have bought a bunch! Was there ever a “Last Chance” promotion for it?

  39. Jen D 06.26.2012 at 3:24pm #

    Yes to Frosta!

  40. Jeroen 07.08.2012 at 2:22pm #

    Yes to frosta!

    Could not believe they do not sell it in the States!

  41. Ingeborg 08.12.2012 at 1:41am #

    Yes, yes! To Frosta

  42. andrea 08.13.2012 at 7:23pm #

    I’m searching for two frostas right now.

  43. Martha Wagner 09.04.2012 at 3:43am #

    About 10 years ago we bought about 15 of these stools at TARGET. We have a small resort and use them in two of our cottages. Suddenly they are beginning to break.
    Thank goodness no one has been hurt but we are removing all of them. Has this happened to anyone else? Perhaps this is why Target and Ikea are no longer carrying them.

  44. michelle yee 09.11.2012 at 10:28am #

    YES YES YES to Frosta!

  45. Sarah 09.19.2012 at 10:42am #

    Yes! I have one in my son’s room and thought it would be nice to use about 5 more in our dining room, since it the room is tiny and the stools could be easily stacked out of the way. I went to the store in Mpls, MN, and didn’t find any! Just today I decided to look online because I really want them, but can only find lookalikes on other sites for about $80 each!! I love IKEA. I hope they can bring Frosta back.

  46. Joey 09.22.2012 at 7:23pm #

    I desperately want that chair in US as well. it is the most affordable, beautiful and dynamic chair in the kitchen!

  47. Ann 10.04.2012 at 6:34pm #

    Yes Yes YES! I love these all purpose chairs/stools/cocktail tables!

  48. Jax 01.03.2013 at 6:11pm #

    Now they’re just taunting the U.S. customers with this image:
    http://info.ikea-usa.com/recharge#/nesting/Makeroomsforeveryone/Coloryourworld

    Slide the color bar down to purple.

  49. Linda 01.08.2013 at 7:06pm #

    Yes to Frosta!!

  50. james 01.26.2013 at 8:35pm #

    yes to frosta! this kills me. IKEA is impossible with customer service.

    i have tried to contact a person in the past for an out of stock item and it was impenetrable. do people actually run this company?

  51. Sally 01.28.2013 at 11:25am #

    Good question; there seems to be nobody home, or rather, they remain deeply hidden. It seems to be part of their business model

  52. Ellen 03.12.2013 at 3:38pm #

    Yes to Frosta!! (Sorry, just seeing this post now – I believe it was originally posted a year ago). Did you ever get a meaningful response?

  53. Pilar 04.07.2013 at 1:02pm #

    Yes to frosta

  54. kim 04.14.2013 at 9:44am #

    yes to frost

  55. Gallagher 05.09.2013 at 2:58am #

    Yes please I want a frosta!!!

  56. Linda B 05.22.2013 at 9:34am #

    Yes – Frosta

  57. GkL 05.30.2013 at 2:13am #

    Yes to frosta!!

  58. jessica 06.27.2013 at 5:20pm #

    nooo… i couldn’t find this ikea stool and a quick search brought me here. i love the frosta stool! bring it back, ikea.

  59. Rick Stone 06.30.2013 at 3:37pm #

    Yes, I found this page because I want (need!) a frosta stool. This seems to be a pattern with Ikea lately; discontinuing products that their customers want to buy. I purchased and installed several ceiling lamps a while back. Now they no longer sell the bulbs. I used to love shopping there, but they just keep giving me less and less reason to go into their stores. :-(

  60. Karen macdonald 08.11.2013 at 6:33pm #

    Yes to Frosta!

  61. Christine Chumley 08.20.2013 at 11:20pm #

    Yes I want a bunch of Frosta stools. Great little tables, but sturdy enough to hold my large size bottom, and this after acting as a shower stool for my family memeber after knee surgury for 6 weeks.

  62. Sally 08.21.2013 at 1:04pm #

    What a great use of a $12 stool. Much better looking than those Surgical Supply Store numbers.

  63. Barret 08.21.2013 at 2:49pm #

    I want IKEA to keep making FROSTA stools too!

  64. Tamara 09.06.2013 at 8:06pm #

    YES to frosta, but in CANADA too!! We love them here as well, and I also NEED several!

  65. cristina necula 09.23.2013 at 9:53pm #

    please more Frosta stool for Canada too. This stool is incredible awesome

  66. lisa 09.24.2013 at 1:11am #

    Yes to Frosta

    This was an item I thought i would always be able to come by. I didn’t bother shipping them each east to west/ west to east move. now irreplaceable. boo hoo waaa.

  67. Novure Youth 03.14.2014 at 11:56am #

    Yes to FROSTA!

  68. Kristen Westman 03.19.2014 at 11:07am #

    Yes, please, bring back Frosta!

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