- Global Lifestyles and Cultural Nationalism
- Today, thanks to a thriving world economy, global telecommunications,
and expanding travel, exchange among Europe, North America, and
the Pacific Rim is happening at an unparalleled pace. In the urban
centers of the developing world signs of the international youth
culture are almost everywhere. So enthusiastically are we swapping
food, music, and fashion that a new universal international lifestyle
reigns in Osaka, Madrid, and Seattle.
- It is consumer-driven: drinking cappuccino and Perrier; furnishing
the apartment with IKEA; eating sushi; dressing in the United
Colors of Benetton; listening to U.S. British rock while driving
the Hyundai over to McDonald's.
- "The world is becoming more and more cosmopolitan, and
we are all influencing each other", says designer Paloma
- For the companies that sell these new international products,
that understand the world as one single market, it is an economic
- "There are already groups of consumers in New York, Stockholm,
and Milan who show more similarities than consumers in Manhattan
and the Bronx in New York itself", says Leif Johansson, group
vice-president of Electrolux's major appliances division. Electrolux's
global territory is divided into a "triad" format-the
United States, Europe, and Japan. Each new product is aimed at
all three markets.
- Among the world's forty best-known brands are Coke, IBM, Sony,
Porsche, McDonald's, Honda, and Nestlé, according to a
survey of 3,000 consumers in nine countries. These are "the
world's first true world brands", says John Diefenbach, CEO
of Landor Associates, which conducted the survey. Seventeen of
the forty were U.S. companies; fourteen European; and nine Japanese.
- For the consumer, increased options are stimulating and great
- But even as our lifestyles grow more similar, there are
unmistakable signs of a powerful countertrend: a backlash against
uniformity, a desire to assert the uniqueness of one's culture
and language, a repudiation of foreign influence.
- So concerned were Canadians about being culturally annexed
by the United States that they came close to voting against the
1988 U.S.-Canadian free trade pact, an agreement very much to
Canada's economic advantage.
- Outbreaks of cultural nationalism are happening in every corner
of the globe:
- o After twenty years of educating its people in English
to accommodate the world economy, Singapore has begun a "Speak
Mandarin" campaign-an effort to rekindle "old values".
- o The Welsh struggle through mostly nonviolent means
to keep their language and literature alive.
- o In northeastern Spain the Catalan language, forbidden
during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, has been reinstalled
as the official language.
- o Quebecois penalize individuals for speaking English,
forbid English street signs, and continue threatening to secede
- o Long part of the USSR, the Soviet republies of Armenia,
Azerbaijan, the Ukraine, and Georgia, as well as Latvia, Lithuania,
and Estonia, emphasize their ethnic identities and assert their
independence from the Kremlin.
- In China, ten years of remarkable openness to all things Western
culminated in student protests for democracy that were met with
a bloody government crackdown and a hard-liner backlash against
what the government deemed the source of student unrest-outside
- One of the most visible form of cultural backlash, at least
for Americans, is the transnational revival of Islam initiated
by the late Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. The notorious Salman Rushdie
affair was only the tip of the iceberg.
- Though identified with Iran and Lebanon, Islamic fundamentalists
are beginning to assert their cultural and religious identities
in Egypt, Indonesia, and Turkey. Always it is a reaction against
what is perceived to be an onslaught of Western influence.
- But Turkey's case is particularly illustrative. Although only
a small percentage of the nation's 52 million, predominantly Moslem
people are fundamentalists, Turkey will, over the next decade,
represent a textbook arena for the interplay between the trend
toward a global lifestyle and the countertrend of cultural nationalism.
- Turkey's rich contradictions symbolize its geographic position
as the link between Europe and the Orient. Writes Washington Post
foreign correspondent Edward Cody: "Imams in minarets
look east toward Mecca while businessmen in office towers look
west toward Brussels".
- Prime Minister Turgut Ozal is a business-oriented technocrat
and a devout Moslem. Even as Turkey petitions to join the Common
Market, its young college women are enthusiastically wrapping
their heads in Islamic scarves, which have been banned at public
universities as part of an official discouraging of religious
practices dating back to the 1920's, when Kemal Ataturk introduced
secular reforms. Enrollment in Moslem schools has increased six
times in fifteen years. Which will win out? The Islamic revival
or the European Community? Or acreative combination?
- This chapter seeks to explore these issues by exploring the
evolving trend toward a common international lifestyle as well
as the deeper countertrend of cultural and linguistic nationalism.
These trends are not contradictory but deeply related.
- The more homogeneous our lifestyles become, the more steadfastly
we shall cling to deeper values-religion, language, art, and literature.
As our outer worlds grow more similar, we will increasingly treasure
the traditions that spring from within.
- THE EMERGENCE OF A
- GLOBAL LIFESTYLE
- Trade, travel, and television lay the groundwork for the global
lifestyle. The film and television media deliver the same images
throughout the global village.
- "They've seen American TV programs, and now they want
to see UCLA and Santa Monica", according to Keiichi Tsujino
of the Japan Travel Bureau in Tokyo.
- They certainly have the yen to do it with. Nearly 3 million
Japanese visited the United States in 1988, a record. Many were
- Air travel opens the avenues of exchange. From New York you
can fly to France as easily as to California. Fly the Concorde
and you get to London as quickly as Houston. Full-page ads in
The New York Times beguile Americans to shop at Harrods
in London. Technology will collapse the Pacific, too. The next
generation of airplane technology will produce a plane that flies
from New York to Tokyo in just two hours.
- The jet set has given way to an affluent, traveling middle
class of honeymooners, grandmothers, families, students, business
people of all nationalities. In the l990's the volume of
travel will really accelerate. Across the United States, 23,000
scheduled flights a day carried 450 million passengers in 1989.
But by the year 2000 there will be 750 million. Today 1 billion
passengers fly the world's airways each year. By the year 2000
it will be 2 billion passengers, double the 1990 figure.
- Every day 3 million people fly from one place on the planet
- World trade today is more than increased trade among 160 nations;
it is a thriving, interdependent, single global economy. We used
to trade in the basics: raw materials, foodstuffs, steel. Today
we trade everything. There is an explosion in the buying and selling
of financial instruments (stocks, bonds, currencies), an explosion
in the buying and selling of what we wear, eat, listen to and
watch-what makes up our lifestyles. In a "fax-it-to-me"
world, it is as easy to do business with a supplier in Taipei
as in Chicago.
- Lifestyle images speed around the globe at the velocity of
light, diffusing their contents everywhere. Since fashion can
be faddish, speed is essential; if the information comes too late,
you miss the fad. But clearly the message is getting through to
places as disparate as Shanghai, Prague, and Buenos Aires, where
hip young people follow the same code of international fashion
(sometimes to the dismay of their elders).
- FOOD, FASHION, AND FUN
- Haute cuisine and haute couture notwithstanding, decisions
about food, clothing, and entertainment involve no great commitment.
They are delightfully superficial and fun. On this level people
can afford to be open to all sorts of foreign influence.
In what we wear and eat, we are blending, borrowing from each
other, playing in each other's backyard:
- o Americans annually import more than $3 billion worth
of Italian clothing, jewelry, and shoes.
- o Yuppies are an "in" group in big West German
cities, even though most of the young, upwardly mobile professionals
do not understand the meaning of the English term.
- o Meanwhile, yummies-young, upwardly mobile Marxists-are
emerging in the USSR and Eastern Europe, imitating the clothes
and music tastes of yuppies.
- o Christmas is celebrated in Japan, even though fewer
than 1 percent of Japanese are Christian.
- o Each day 200 varieties of cheese are flown to the
United States from France.
- Food, fashion, and music, the stuff of everyday life in Europe,
the United States, and Japan, are taking on similar (some would
say disturbingly similar) characteristics especially in cities.
- In Times Square, in the Ginza, and on the ChampsÉlysées
sushi bars, croissant shops, and McDonald's compete for the same
expensive real estate.
- The Culture of Cuisine
- West Los Angeles is the home of Gurume, a Japaneserun restaurant
whose specialty-Gurume chicken-is Oriental chopped chicken and
green beans in an Italian marinara sauce, served over spaghetti,
with Japanese cabbage salad, Texas toast, and Louisiana Tabasco
sauce. It is a symbol óf what is happening to world lifestyle
- We are tasting one another's cuisines with great gusto. Americans
are exporting seafood delicacies to Japan, Tex-Mex is all the
rage in Paris, and the United States is importing sushi bars as
if they were Toyotas.
- "Three years ago the world had never tasted soft-shells
[crabs] and now we export to twenty-two countries", said
Terrence Conway, owner of the John T. Handy Company, a Chesapeake
Bay firm that in 1986 exported 270,000 pounds of crabs, mainly
to Japan. (In 1988 the company was bought by a Japanese firm.)
- Tex-Mex cuisine is prepared kosher in Israel, where former
Houstonian Barry Ritman's Chili's restaurant comes complete with
a Lone Star beer sign, armadillo art, and cactus garden.
- "There just wasn't anyplace here to buy the tacos, chili,
or chips I ate back in Texas", says Ritman, who satisfied
his Southwest cravings while introducing Israelis to tacos, tortillas,
- In 1985 San Antonio-based Papa Maya, one of a hand ful of
Tex-Mex restaurants in Paris, received the city's Best Foreign
Food award. Since then Tex-Mex has become Paris's hot new exotic
cuisine. Chic young Parisians now fill the house at La Perla,
Café Pacifico, and the Studio.
- There were 19,364 Oriental restaurants in the United States
in 1988, according to RE-COUNT, a service of the Restaurant Consulting
Group, Inc., in Evanston, Illinois. Oriental restaurant growth
outpaces all other restaurant categories, having increased 10
percent just in 1987 and 1988 while restaurants grew 4 percent
overall, says RECOUNT.
- In 1975 there were only about 300 sushi bars in the United
States; by 1980 there were more than 1,500, reports Palate
Pleasers, the first Japanese food magazine for Americans printed
in the United States. Today there are thousands.
- "At least five to ten new sushi bars open in New York
City and Los Angeles every month", according to Susan Hirano
of Palate Pleasers. And the sushi craze has broken out
of the big city.
- You can order sushi in American beef country: Des Moines,
Iowa; Wichita, Kansas; and Omaha, Nebraska. The Japanese Steak
House, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, boasts a floating sushi bar.
The Kroger supermarket in Buckhead, Georgia, sells sushi. More
adventurous Georgians order the octopus and eel.
- If Americans are crazy about sushi, the Japanese have shown
they have an all-American sweet tooth. Tokyo is overflowing with
the latest American confectioneries: Häagen-Dazs, Famous
Amos, Mrs. Field's, and David's Cookies stores. Even lesser-known
outlets like Steve's and Hobson's ice-cream shops are open in
- In the United States ethnic food is one of the hottest segments
in the restaurant business. Eating out in Middle America used
to mean steak and potatoes. Now it is Mexican, Chinese, Korean,
Afghan, and Ethiopian. Between 1982 and 1986 overall restaurant
traffic in the United States increased 10 percent, but Asian restaurants
saw business grow 54 percent, Mexican restaurants 43 percent,
and Italian restaurants 26 percent. In a one-block area of the
Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., you can eat Ethiopian,
Jamaican, Italian, Mexican, French, Salvadorean, Japanese, Chinese,
Caribbean, Indian, or American.
- A Big Mac by Any Other Name
- While America tastes Thai and Afghan, its fast food dominates
the international scene. The Golden Arches are recognized from
Aruba to Istanbul to Munich, Buenos Aires, and Taipei. Whatever
the country, you can order a Big Mac.
- Oversaturated in U.S. markets, McDonald's is pursuing an aggressive
global strategy. More than 10,500 restaurants operate in fifty
countries, promising "the same quality food, quick service,
clean surroundings, and eating-out value that customers in the
United States have enjoyed for more than 30 years". More
than 600 new restaurants opened in 1988, at least that many in
1989. Worldwide 1988 sales exceeded $16 billion, 29 percent from
- o In Germany one can order Chicken McNuggets at nearly
300 McDonald's outlets. The U.K. has 289 outlets, France 84, and
- o The Golden Arches have become a fixture in Belgrade
- o Sao Paulo, Brazil, has 16 McDonald's.
- Eastern Europe, where McDonald's is a big hit, and the Soviet
Union, where the first McDonald's opened recently, are McDonald's
biggest new markets.
- In Beijing, within the sight of Mao's tomb, Kentucky Fried
Chicken operates the world's largest fast-food restaurant.
- Fast-Food Exports to Japan Are Booming
- Although Congress worries about a U.S. trade deficit with
Japan, it can be satisfied that Japan imports more food from the
United States than from anywhere else.
- The Japanese desire for fast food is extraordinary. Japan
has more American food franchises than any country outside North
America; between 1974 and 1984 alone the number increased from
265 to 1,490. Today Japan has a total of 7,366 U.S. franchise
outlets. Most-72 percent-are restaurants, food, or convenience
stores. Denny's, Mister Donuts, Dunkin' Donuts, and Wendy's all
have become a part of the Japanese lifestyle.
- "We sell the idea of good old America. Green pastures,
fresh air, clean water", says Shin Ohkawara, president of
Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, which has 800 outlets, the most
outside the United States. The colonel's global empire operates
more than 7,750 outlets in more than fifty-eight countries.
- Domino's Pizza delivers on motorscooters in Tokyo. Delivery
people in the red, white, and blue uniforms compete with rivals
bearing sushi and smoked eel. Domino's guarantees pizza at your
door within thirty minutes-not easy in central Tokyo-or you get
a refund of 700 yen (about $5).
- Japanese beverage tastes extend beyond tea and sake to wine
and Coca-Cola. Japan imports 400 California wines, up from just
150 in 1986. Although wine bore a 30 percent tariff and 50 percent
tax, imports increased 35 percent between 1987 and 1988. Coca-Cola
is by far Japan's number one soft drink.
- Japanese ordered $580 million worth of sushi from the largest
Japanese food chain, Kozozushi Honbu's sushi shops, in 1986. But
they spent more on hamburgers; McDonald's 590 outlets in Japan
brought in $950 million that year and sales now exceed $1 billion.
McDonald's only real competition is from the Daiei Group of Western-style
restaurants with sales of only $780 million-but it has 2,000 shops.
- The favorite foods of Japanese children are curry rice, hamburger,
and spaghetti. If a Japanese family needs to pick something up
on the way home, it can stop at one of more than 3,200 American
franchised 7-Eleven convenience stores.
- Japanese spend twenty-five cents of every food dollar eating
out, says Kazutaka Kato of the Japan Food Service Industry Association.
It is forty cents in the United States. "In the next ten
years", he says, "as women continue to join the work
force and disposable income climbs, we expect that figure to climb
to forty cents here".
- Culinary Imperialism?
- Most Americans admire the entrepreneurial efforts of U.S.
fast-food makers. But the health-conscious are bound to feel uneasy
about the large-scale export of foods high in fat, cholesterol,
and sodium when American themselves are trying to limit such foods
or even eliminate them. That concern might seem paternalistic
at first blush, but remember that it has been well documented
that these foods are a major factor in heart disease. (It would
be difficult to find someone to champion the activities of U.S.
tobacco companies abroad.)
- Yet how many governments complain about the unhealthiness
of the U.S. fast-food invasion? The French may grumble about fast
food, but in the land that invented paté, no one gripes
about its fat content. In the Communist bloc and the Third World
the cholesterol backlash is nonexistent. Food and cuisine might
pose health risks, but do not threaten people's deeper cultural
- An American (Restaurant) in Paris
- Traditionally the best restaurants have been French, but the
global lifestyle trend has even opened the French to the influence
of other cuisines, especially American: chocolate chip cookies,
corn on the cob, strawberry shortcake, and California wines (in
small quantities). The French Association of American Studies
sold out a recent quarterly review on American cuisine.
- In Paris only French restaurants earn coveted Michelin stars
(except for the popular Tan Dinh, which is Vietnamese). But American-style
restaurants are setting new trends in cuisine, from barbecued
spareribs to chicken sandwiches.
- o Joe Allen near the Centre Pompidou serves traditional
American spareribs and crab cakes, plays American music, and is
decorated with American movie posters. Ketchup is de rigueur.
- o Claude Benouaich and Thierry Monnassier introduced
Paris to diners. Their Rival Coffee Shop comes complete with a
counter, booths, and old Coca-Cola signs.
- o The menu at Paris's Marshal's Bar & Grill, which
Gourmet called "as American as peanut butter",
lists steaks, burgers, chili, California pizza, and soft-shelled
- o Randy & Jay's on the Left Bank serves barbecued
spareribs with a side of coleslaw, and the Chicago Pizza Pie Factory
offers Chicago deep-dish pizza.
- "Everything about America is fashionable these days",
says Elaine Bourbeillon of the the General Store, the first American
food boutique in Paris, which sells peanut butter, cranberry juice,
and buckwheat pancake mix and has trouble keeping up with demand.
- The Great Food Exchange
- Food nourishes body and soul, gently introduces another way
of life, and suggests how to embellish our native cuisine: Japanese
businessmen in Tokyo order California roll, a type of crab and
avocado sushi invented in San Francisco, while American chefs
top off a grilled salmon with a butter sauce laced with wasabi,
that tingling Japanese condiment.
- In the nonthreatening arena of cuisine we are attending
an international bazaar of unprecedented abundance.
- International Fashion
- In a prospering global village, where ideas are instantaneously
exchanged through travel and telecommunications, the sin of coveting
thy neighboor's goods has become the multibillion-dollar international
- "Fashion is international", says designer Oscar
de la Renta. "You don't recognize where a woman is from by
the way she dresses".
- American businessmen are switching to Italian suits, Italian
youths dress entirely in blue denim, and fashionable Chinese young
people wouldn't be caught dead in a Mao jacket.
- "Now people travel so much, they get inspired by the
same thing", says Laurie Mallet of WilliWear.
- The international fashion media do their part to keep you
up-to-date. The French magazine Elle publishes 16 international
editions. After just two years the circulation of the American
edition challenged venerableVogue, for decades the arbiter
of taste. Elle is considering coming out with four
new foreign editions: in Turkey, Hungary, Taiwan, and Thailand
(Elle's appearance is probably as reliable an index of
growing disposable income as a fancy economic study). CNN's Style
program reports direct from the runways of New York,
Tokyo, Milan, and Paris.
- London's Harrods department store might as well be Bloomingdale's.
British Airways awarded passengers flying from the United States
to Britain Harrods gift certificates worth $500 and $1,000. At
one point Harrods catalog went out to 145,000 American customers,
who could phone in their orders toll-free, an international combination
of direct marketing and telephone sales. Now the Harrods catalog,
sent three times a year to U.K. charge customers, is available
to overseas customers for a fee.
- "The Time. The Date. The Place. The Sale. The Card. There
is Only One Harrods. There is Only One Sale". Full-page ads
in The New York Times advertised Harrods' annual January
and July sales to Americans. The "card" is American
- If the tactics of genteel Harrods seem a bit aggressive consider
this: More than 40 percent of its sales are to overseas customers-to
every country in the world. Its products are equally international.
- Harrods produce section stocks French peaches, Dutch radishes,
English strawberries, California asparagus, Russian button mushrooms,
and East African lemon grass. Harrods, which operates shops in
West Germany and Japan, is owned by Egyptians.
- In 1987 Paris-based Printemps became the first European department
store to open a U.S. branch-in Denver, Colorado. "It is an
international store, designed to balance French style and American
spirit", said Frank Ball, president of the U.S. store. Printemps
also operates in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Malaysia, and Turkey.
- In sophisticated Milan, teenagers reject chic designers like
Giorgio Armani in favor of Levi's 501 jeans, deck shoes, and the
preppy look seen in American movies, on TV, and in advertising.
Children of wealthy families, these new-wave teens are called
Paninari, from panino, the word for sandwich, symbolizing
the American ideal of life in the fast lane. U.S.-based The Limited
has borrowed the name Paninari as a theme for its Eúropean-flair
- On the other side of the world, in China, where no one had
worn red since the Revolution, bright stylish clothes, including
revolutionary red, sheer stockings, and blue jeans, appeared in
the 1980's. Chinese women wore spaghetti-strap sundresses, stirrup
pants, even miniskirts. French designer Pierre Cardin presents
fashion shows to thousands in stadiums in China.
- Will China's fling with fashion survive the conservative mood
after Tiananmen Square? If it does, it will be without the assistance
of one high-profile designer-Yves Saint Laurent.
- Saint Laurent's partner, Pierre Berge, resigned in protest
as official adviser to Beijing's China Garments Research and Design
Center, which was to have connections to the world's fashion capitals
and to train 100 to 200 design students each year. Instead Berge
urged French firms to help the 2,800 Chinese students in France
to find jobs. The Saint Laurent boutique on Paris's Rue de Tournon
was transformed into a headquarters for students and others seeking
democracy in China.
- The king, of French fashion for three decades, Saint Laurent's
hand is still extended to the rest of the socialist world. At
the request of Raisa Gorbachev he exhibited his work in the Soviet
Union in 1986.
- Ralph Lauren, on the other hand, sells the all-American look
at a store in Paris. And American designer Donna Karan is a sensation
at Browns in London.
- The International Rag Trade
- In Tokyo, Des Moines, and Sao Paulo, the fashion conscious
fifteen-year-old is likely to favor clothes from one of the big
international fashion retailers, Benetton, Esprit, or Laura Ashley,
clothiers to the youth culture, outfitters of the global lifestyle.
- "The United Colors of Benetton" advertisements
project the vision: The world is made up of different races and
nationalities all linked by the same colorful clothes, which symbolize
peaceful, happy coexistence.
- United as in the United States, multinational as in the chain's
home continent, Europe? and multiracial, Benetton's "All
the Colors of the World" theme creates an international flavor
no other retailer can match.
- Since 1968 more than 4,500 Benetton stores have opened in
seventy countries. At one point in its history a new Benetton
franchise opened somewhere on the average of twice a day. There
are now more than 650 stores in North America.
- After intense growth, the company is retrenching amid disputes
with franchisees who complain that the stores are too close together
and that ordering goods is difficult. Seven Benetton shops closed
in 1987. In December 1987 the company brought in a consultant
to administer American operations autonomously.
- Benetton is nonetheless the world's largest knitwear maker
and the largest consumer of virgin wool. Sales have increased
from $78 million in 1978 (mainly in Italy) to $1 billion in 1987,
when profits hit $108 million. Outside Italy, the United States
is Benetton's largest market, followed by Germany and France.
A Moscow store opened in 1989.
- A key factor in the company's success is its savvy use of
high technology. Computers design clothes, ship products, and
monitor consumer preference. Benetton employs more computer technicians
- The Esprit customer, says company literature, "is a young-minded
woman who is fitness oriented, sporty, outgoing, happy and socially
conscious. She has an easy confidence about herself and her sexuality,
and enjoys 'the difference' between men and women. She's never
a sex object and youth to her is an attitude, not an age".
- With 125 stores in fifteen countries and boutiques within
100 department or specialty stores, and sales to thousands of
other stores, Esprit is more than state of mind; it is one of
the world's leading sportswear merchants. Esprit sold an estimated
$1.2 billion worth of women's, men's, and children's apparel and
accessories in 1988. Today there are 70 stores in the United States
and 55 stores outside the United States, where two thirds of sales
- "Esprit is an international company", says Doug
Tomkins, cofounder of Esprit. "The head of graphics is Japanese;
our photographer is Italian; our architects are Italian and French.
We have German, Swedish, English, Dutch, and Chinese desiguers.
When we all get together, it's like a little United Nations".
- Esprit's corporate offices in San Francisco are located on
a ten-acre compound where employees can take subsidized language
classes, improve their tennis games, or lunch at subsidized prices
at the Esprit Café.
- Laura Ashley
- Laura Ashley, Inc., exemplifies the English lifestyle. Wooden
storefronts evoking Victorian London are filled with Laura Ashley
dresses and fabrics in the mood of an English garden. Saleswomen,
wearing the flower-print dresses they sell customers, also offer
fabrics, children's clothing, sheets, and wallpaper. No wonder
it is one of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's favorite examples
of British enterprise.
- In 1953 the late Welsh desiguer Laura Ashley began silk screening
on tea towels, which her husband sold to local stores. Although
the first shop did not open until 1968, by the early 1970s there
were stores in Australia, Japan, and Canada. A U.S. shop opened
in 1974; today there are 174 in North America. Worldwide there
are 425 shops, and sales total about $400 million. There are factories
in Wales, Holland, Ireland, and Kentucky.
- British entrepreneur Terence Conran, founder of Habitat, sells
sophisticated, contemporary, and affordable home furnishings in
more than 100 stores worldwide. There are 57 in the U.K., scores
across Europe. Habitat also operates in Japan, Singapore, Hong
Kong, and the United States, where it is known as Conran's. The
look is simple and functional, white walls and light woods. Conran's
has 17 U.S. stores but hopes to expand to 200. For his success
in retailing, Conran was knighted by the British government in
- "Champagne dining on a beer budget" is what the
Swedish retailer IKEA promises. It sells unassembled furniture
for 30 percent less than the finished product would cost. IKEA
operates eighty stores in nineteen countries from Western Europe
to Saudi Arabia, the Canary Islands, Canada, and Australia. IKEA
catalogs-more than 50 million worldwide-are published in twelve
languages. Cartons come labeled in English, Danish, German, French,
and Swedish. In 1988 sales totaled more than $2.6 billion; sales
at three U.S. stores alone were $93 million. A store in Budapest
is scheduled to open in 1990.