The Swede Idea to Surviving This Rotten Economy

How IKEA prepared to thrive in bad economic times

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    TK
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    PARAMUS, NJ - JANUARY 27: An IKEA sign is reflected in mirrored side of the building of an Ikea store January 27, 2005 in Paramus, New Jersey. Ikea, a Swedish company, currently has 200 stores worldwide and in the next 10 years is planning to open five stores annually in the U.S., the company's second-biggest market behind Germany. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

    The IKEA store in Plano is thriving despite the poor economy. Could its business plan be a new model for surviving these challenging times?

    You can just about furnish, light and decorate an entire house, equip the kitchen and bathrooms, build an office and set up a home theater at the IKEA store in Plano.

    Oh, and don't forget -- stuff your face with hot Swedish meatballs and hot cinnamon rolls.

    The Swedish furniture megastore has earned a huge following in North Texas. Despite the economic slowdown, its parking lot is constantly full.

    But IKEA is full of something else that is making it thrive while other retailers are struggling. Its business plan could well be the new model for survival.

    How? To hear IKEA CEO Anders Dahlvig tell it to Time magazine's Jeremy Caplan, he planned for this to happen,or at least he positioned his company to take advantage of a slumping economy.

    His magic? Not borrowing money, instead using IKEA's retained earnings to finance its stores operations and expansion.

    Imagine if the big automakers in Detroit had followed that business model? Could it be the way things evolve as businesses emerge from the current economic crisis?