14 votes

Ikea's profits have fallen nearly 10% as the world's largest furniture retailer stepped up its spending on renewable energy and its growing online operation

13 comments

  1. [6]
    whbboyd
    Link
    Note revenue increased (by slightly more than 5%); profits are down because they're spending more of their revenue on longer-term projects and investments. Editorially, I think this headline is...

    Note revenue increased (by slightly more than 5%); profits are down because they're spending more of their revenue on longer-term projects and investments.

    Editorially, I think this headline is grossly negligent as written. Companies are already catastrophically bad at long-term planning; getting dinged with a negatively-phrased headline for it is only going to make the problem worse.

    23 votes
    1. [5]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      It seems factual? Yes, the difference in profits is a negative number, but If you agree with increased investment then it's not negatively phrased, it's just what you'd expect. I don't think we...

      It seems factual? Yes, the difference in profits is a negative number, but If you agree with increased investment then it's not negatively phrased, it's just what you'd expect. I don't think we should need euphemisms for math?

      2 votes
      1. whbboyd
        Link Parent
        It's factually true, but leading with "profits have fallen" and outright failing to mention the increased revenue implies "Ikea is doing poorly" when in fact the opposite is the case. No...

        It's factually true, but leading with "profits have fallen" and outright failing to mention the increased revenue implies "Ikea is doing poorly" when in fact the opposite is the case. No euphemisms are required; the subtext of the headline should match reality (for example, "Ikea invests greater share of increased revenue in renewables and online sales").

        16 votes
      2. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Profits have fallen carries an inherent negative tone with it in my opinion, and it's how most people are going to read it I think. It definitely seems a little attention-seeking.

        Profits have fallen carries an inherent negative tone with it in my opinion, and it's how most people are going to read it I think. It definitely seems a little attention-seeking.

        3 votes
      3. [2]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        This headline is a cacophemism for math, which is arguably worse at promoting understanding than a euphemism would be.

        This headline is a cacophemism for math, which is arguably worse at promoting understanding than a euphemism would be.

        1 vote
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Hmm, the word "cacophemism" is new to me. Some interesting reading: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-cacophemism-words-1689819

          Hmm, the word "cacophemism" is new to me. Some interesting reading:

          "People naturally find some perfectly accurate descriptive terms unflattering and displeasing. It is therefore considered good manners for others to avoid these terms as much as possible, and when one cannot avoid speaking the unpleasant truth, to find descriptive synonyms that strike the ear as less blunt, though they say the same thing as the unflattering term. In this way, we generate a stream of euphemisms, in comparison to which the original descriptive term seems ever more coarse, until that term, originally neutral, becomes a cacophemism. The words 'fat' and 'old' are good examples of this process. It is now considered to be blunt almost to the point of uncouthness to refer to a fat person as 'fat.' And while there are a few dysphemistic ways of saying the same thing ('potbellied,' 'fat-assed,' 'lard-assed,' 'gross'), there are few other terms that are as cacophemistic now as the straightforward unadorned 'fat.'"
          (Joel Feinberg, "Offense to Others". Oxford University Press, 1988)

          https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-cacophemism-words-1689819

          5 votes
  2. [7]
    daychilde
    Link
    I've always heard IKEA stuff was cheap, so when one finally opened within range, I was excited to check it out. Seems others' definition of "cheap" is different than my own. The headlines seems...

    I've always heard IKEA stuff was cheap, so when one finally opened within range, I was excited to check it out. Seems others' definition of "cheap" is different than my own.

    The headlines seems understandable to me — before I opened the comments here I caught that they were spending money causing the profit fall. Sounds like good choices to me. But I guess a "moron in a hurry" might well not catch that, even though it seems obvious to me.

    (Putting this comment as a top-level as I don't want to get into an argument about the headline. lol)

    5 votes
    1. cwagner
      Link Parent
      IKEA is cheap. Compared to quality furniture. There is certainly cheaper furniture, but as someone who recently bought a cheaper-than-IKEA living room wall, I can tell you there tend to be more...

      IKEA is cheap. Compared to quality furniture. There is certainly cheaper furniture, but as someone who recently bought a cheaper-than-IKEA living room wall, I can tell you there tend to be more problems with those ;)

      Examples: More assembly required, cheaper tools (one of the hex keys was so soft, it couldn’t turn screws anymore before we even finished assembly), crappy manual.

      With IKEA, you get mostly the same material as the really cheap stuff, but it’s easier to assemble and the whole package is better. In a way, IKEA is like Apple, only not horrendously expensive.

      5 votes
    2. Feyd
      Link Parent
      Cheap and quality aren't diametrically opposed concepts. The materials are cheap, but it's generally well designed and has a coherent design language. I remember watching a Q&A session after a...

      Cheap and quality aren't diametrically opposed concepts. The materials are cheap, but it's generally well designed and has a coherent design language. I remember watching a Q&A session after a lecture on the history of Bauhaus, and a question came up about Ikea. I think the questioner wanted to know how the founders of the movement would feel about their ideas being "bastardized", but the lecturer responded "They would LOVE Ikea!"

      Granted, some of it "cheap" in a bad sense (plastic parts that shouldn't be plastic, hellish assemblies, etc), but it's nothing that can't be checked against the online reviews of the items. On the other hand, there's some truly well designed stuff too like rail systems for kitchen gadgets and the like - stuff which doesn't need to have functionality balanced against quality of materials.

      3 votes
    3. [4]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Yes, IKEA is probably a step up from Walmart or Target furniture and also others that came before it in the "cheap but new" furniture category. I'm remembering the first desk I bought at Sears. I...

      Yes, IKEA is probably a step up from Walmart or Target furniture and also others that came before it in the "cheap but new" furniture category. I'm remembering the first desk I bought at Sears. I think they deserve a lot of respect for being good at what they do.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        daychilde
        Link Parent
        I wouldn't mind getting some stuff from there - well, I have done, just not furniture. But I can't afford it yet. lol. We're living on the barest of bare minimums for a while :)

        I wouldn't mind getting some stuff from there - well, I have done, just not furniture. But I can't afford it yet. lol. We're living on the barest of bare minimums for a while :)

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Yes, used seems like the better deal assuming time to do some looking? Better for the environment too.

          Yes, used seems like the better deal assuming time to do some looking? Better for the environment too.

          1 vote
          1. daychilde
            Link Parent
            Strewth. We picked up a lovely loveseat and couch from our local Habitat for Humanity store, for example. :)

            Strewth. We picked up a lovely loveseat and couch from our local Habitat for Humanity store, for example. :)

            1 vote