When in the midst of difficult economic times, such as the economic downturn we are currently enduring, watching retailers go out of business or corporations losing profits is not an unusual occurrence; it’s even expected. In the case of retailers, consumers are not as inclined to make purchases during challenging economic times. In addition, corporations may feel the need to lay people off in an effort to cut costs. Any company owned and operated by public interests, is affected by the market in some way.

Retailers like the privately-owned IKEA, is one of the great success stories in the middle of an otherwise bleak economic existence. It is almost unfathomable that they’re doing so well. In fact, there has been some speculation that the IKEA location in Tempe, Arizona is in danger of going out of business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Research continues to show IKEA as a highly successful company.

IKEA was first founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad – just 17 years old at the time – inSweden. Ingvar built his company on offering simple home furnishings and interior design to the public. IKEA as a company is run with a very strong environmental focus. Their longstanding goal has always been to run their business entirely on renewable energy; and they reached that goal on February 17,2011. They are also focused on controlling costs and operations, and developing new products. All of IKEA’s products are designed and manufactured internally. They package the disassembled furniture in flat boxes which makes them easy for the customer to transport and later assemble. It is because of this drive toward efficiency, that IKEA can offer its customers low prices on quality items; which is vital considering their yearly goal of lowering prices across their entire product line by an average of 2-3%.

Currently IKEA owns 332 stores across 38 countries;Germany, its largest market, houses 44 locations, while theUSis next with 37 locations. During 2010, IKEA set out to make their stores more eco-friendly by installing solar panels. Fitting their location inTempe,Arizonawith solar panels was one of their primary investments for the 2010 fiscal year. Given the success of the solar panels in theTempestore, they planned and accomplished installations for 10 more locations throughout theUSduring the 2011 fiscal year.

According to Arizona Business, on March 8, 2012 the Tempe store also became one of eight US locations to receive four Blink Pedestal electric vehicle charging stations as part of IKEA’s partnership with ECOtality, Inc. Consumers that own electric cars can park their car into a designated parking spot, swipe their Blink InCard to activate the charging station, then plug in their charger, and charge their car while they’re shopping in IKEA.