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Ikea discontinues the Expedit shelving range

The Truth

TRIBE Member
Enter the house of pretty much any record collector in the world and the chances are you’ll stumble upon an Expedit shelf. For a generation now, IKEA’s square build bookshelf has been the storage unit of choice for vinyl fanatics, taking advantage of the happy coincidence that each unit is the perfect height and depth for 12″ vinyl.


Now, however, the monolithic Swedish home store have announced that they will be discontinuing their ‘iconic’ Expedit shelving range (first in Germany, but presumably also with a view to extending abroad) amid consternation from the vinyl community. Uniting under the slogan “Rettet das Ikea Expedit Regal” (Save the IKEA Expedit bookshelf), vinyl enthusiasts in Germany have launched a Facebook page in support of the embattled shelf, that has acquired over 8,000 likes since the page was launched in mid-January.

In taking the Expedit out of rotation, IKEA have also unveiled a substitute of similar proportions known simply as ‘Kallax’, which will store your records with similar efficiency but may take time to be accepted by the record buying community at large. It is a bold move by IKEA who seemed to throw their weight behind the vinyl community last year with their Changing Rooms-style makeover of Harry Love’s record room, featuring the ubiquitous wall of Expedit.

Anyone worried by these developments should contact their local IKEA and perhaps consider hoarding a couple of spare units under the stairs for later use. In the meantime, you can browse the Facebook group for poignant memories of the Expedit in action.

Record collectors despair as IKEA discontinues Expedit shelving range – The Vinyl Factory
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
Does "Expedit" mean something naughty or sound like something that does in German and they are just renaming the line?
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TRIBE Promoter
Expedits were going on clearance our last visit there, and we were surprised when they told us why.

On the plus side, the replacement seems just as good

The Truth

TRIBE Member
Expedit, we hardly knew ye. Ikea recently announced that the popular shelving system is not long for this world, and the internet responded with rage. But there's a really good reason for Ikea to get rid of Expedit. And in fact, it's not really going away at all.

Ikea says it's replacing Expedit with a new line of shelving, called Kallax, beginning in April. The furor over the decision has been swift—especially from vinyl collectors, amongst whom Expedit is something of a cult item. In fact, there's even a 20,000-person strong Facebook page devoted to saving the easily-stackable shelves.

But chew on this: Ikea uses a whopping one percent of the world's wood supply. That's 17.8 million cubic yards of wood. Much of that goes into making the veneer you find on many of Ikea's most popular products, including Expedit.

Now, let's look at Kallax. Ikea reports that the internal dimensions of the system are exactly the same as Expedit—so Kallax will still fit your vinyl collection just fine. So what's changing? The thickness of the wide outer edge that makes Expedit so distinctive. It seems like a minuscule change to us, but it's not. Sales numbers for Expedit aren't public, but we know that Ikea sells some 41 million similar Billy bookcases a year.


If Ikea can cut even a centimeter of wood on each of those products, it will save massively on material costs. It's also going to help them make good on their claim of sustainability. Right now, 25 percent of Ikea wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (though, as one commenter points out, the certification was recently thrown into question). Last year, they pledged to increase that number to 50 percent within five years. And when you're selling hundreds of millions of products a year, even the smallest savings count.

So this decision probably has nothing to do with design, and not much to do with stirring up excitement—though that doesn't hurt—either. It's just good business at a truly massive scale. So mourn for Expedit—but remember that it's being replaced by basically the same thing, and it's coming from a more sustainable company.

Still, it's sad to see Expedit proper go. As the proud owner of one unit, it's by far the most photogenic shelf I've ever owned (see below). Drop your own images in the comments—who knows, maybe Ikea will change its mind.

Here's Why Ikea Is Discontinuing Everyone's Favorite Shelf

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
too bad ikea doesn't make stackable comic book box shelves. i spent a crapload having custom shelves made for my comic book boxes.