Business Insider Puts Ikea’s 5-Minute Furniture Assembly Claim to the Test

ikeaLast week, furniture giant Ikea released a new line of furniture, Regissör, that it claims includes only products that can be assembled in five minutes or less.

On Oct. 10, Business Insider decided to put Ikea’s claim to the test, purchasing three Regissör bookshelves and roping reporter Pam Engel, Executive Editor Joe Weisenthal and CEO Henry Blodget into each assembling one.

Video documentation of the experiment (a well-filmed and entertaining watch) follows the efforts.

At five minutes, none of the three have their bookcase more than a third assembled. After 10 minutes, the first effort to stand one of the bookcases up results in pieces falling to the ground.

The final time for the first completed project (Blodget’s) comes to 17 minutes and 12 seconds.

The line includes cabinets and a coffee table, in addition to the bookshelf used in the video test.

According to the instructions, no tools, screws or bolts are used to secure the pieces, though the BI video features Weisenthal using a smartphone as a makeshift hammer. Instead, the line includes wooden wedge dowels that are intended to be snapped into place using only the assembler’s hands.

Market Share

Ikea is the world’s largest furniture chain, and has been making a push to expand its following from college students outfitting dorms to homebuyers decorating entire houses — even including semi-custom installs for bathrooms and kitchens.

The company had a strong year in 2013, but announced recently that it is rebranding itself in an effort to double sales by 2020 for a projected annual total of 50 billion euros.

However, many consumers remain resistant to Ikea’s pull-it-yourself warehouse setups and often frustrating assembly requirements.

The sometimes hours-long process of putting together flat-packed Ikea furniture has even spawned countless memes and parodies online.

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