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