We've featured 'feeder businesses' for IKEA before—companies that feed off the behemoth's business by offering its customers add-on products or services. While Bemz and Parts of Sweden let customers add options to products they've already bought from IKEA, ModerNash found a different customer need to fulfil.
Nashville residents looking for Swedish design at low prices don't have access to a local IKEA; the nearest blue-and-green big box is in Atlanta. So two friends decided to bring IKEA to Tennessee by taking orders from customers and driving down to Atlanta to pick up the goods. Customers submit their orders on modernash.com, listing item numbers, colours, etc. Modernash brings the goods to its Nashville storage facility, where customers can pick up their orders (the company also offers home delivery for an additional USD 50). ModerNash's shipping rates are significantly lower than those charged by IKEA, ranging from 20–29% of a customer's total purchase amount.
The company also assembles furniture for USD 25/hour, handles returns (even for customers who didn't order through ModerNash), and partners with other local companies that design and install IKEA kitchens. Last but not least, it keeps a small number of popular items in stock for immediate pick-up or delivery.
IKEA's shipping fees in the US tend to be very high—its business model just isn't geared to catalogue and delivery sales. In many countries, customers can't order online from IKEA at all. Which opens up opportunities for local delivery companies who'd like to target a niche audience and are willing to offer the extra service, expertise (and patience) required for shopping at IKEA. (Related: eBay feeder business for 'pickup only' items.)
Spotted by: Mark Sharp