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IKEA introduces new anti-tip feature for dressers and shares it with competitors

A new safety mechanism by IKEA motivates customers to anchor their dressers to a wall to prevent them from tipping over and potentially injuring cabinet-climbing kids. Until a unit is attached to a wall, only one or two drawers can be opened at once, depending on the piece's height. Once properly secured, an unlocking mechanism activates, allowing multiple drawers to be opened simultaneously.

IKEA has included anchoring hardware with tall furniture for years. But, all too often, customers assemble their bookcase or chest of drawers and reckon they'll get to the anchoring part later. By limiting functionality until safety measures are taken, IKEA is integrating physical reminders into their products, encouraging people to complete the task sooner rather than later (or never).

Since other furniture manufacturers also produce cabinets capable of tipping over, IKEA has drawn up a patent pledge for 'Anchor and Unlock,' inviting its competitors to adopt the feature. "For us at IKEA, clothing storage furniture stability is not a matter of competition but one of collaboration," says Carl Ervér, patent manager at IKEA of Sweden.

Trend Bite

IKEA isn't just selling furniture; it's selling behavioral change wrapped in Scandinavian design. With its Anchor and Unlock feature, the flat-pack furniture leader solves a critical problem by addressing typical consumer behavior. Acknowledging that customers often ignore the safety screws and brackets it includes, IKEA is forcing the issue. If a chest of drawers won't fully function until it's anchored to a wall, people are more likely to become active participants in home safety.

But IKEA isn't stopping there. Breaking from the traditional 'mine, mine, mine' patent playbook, the brand is making its innovation available for all to use. It's a move that positions the company as the developer of a potential industry standard while expanding the concept's reach. From product safety to equity to climate change, it's time for brands to band together to solve our biggest problems — a move consumers will embrace. Which proprietary solutions could you share with competitors, and who could you partner with to amplify your impact?

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom