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Tommy Kullberg (IKEA) has seen the inside of a few Japanese homes lately and if he has learnt one thing it is that they tend to be, well, rather small. The soft-spoken Swede heading Ikea's return to Japan and his team have visited more than 100 local residences to take notes and try to avoid a repeat of the group's disastrous first foray into the world's number two retail market. Ikea has stores in more than 30 countries but none more challenging than Japan, where even the largest furniture retailer in the world has had to adapt its winning formula with a new store outside Tokyo. It first came to Japan in 1974 with a local partner but failed to win over Japanese consumers and withdrew 12 years later.

"Disneyland is the biggest competitor" Tommy Kullberg (IKEA Japan)