Since its inception in 1943, IKEA, along with its business model, has been the envy of big-box retailers around the world. True wonders, every facet of its operation has been designed with efficiency and cost in mind. Its products, for instance, are built to use as few components as possible without compromising quality or durability. Its famous flat-packs take up less space and reduce transportation expenses. Then there are its stores. Each one is purpose-built to facilitate self-service, which effectively lowers costs by keeping the number of people handling each package to a minimum.