Ikea to announce store location on Friday

ikeaGlobal furniture chain Ikea is set to announce the location of its first physical location in New Zealand this Friday, with Ikea global chief executive Jesper Brodin flying in to attend the announcement event.

Speculation about where the retailer will open its initial New Zealand store has been rising since the company announced the move in December last year, with many potential customers taking to the business’ Facebook page to make their predictions, ranging from Auckland to Wellington to Tauranga.

The exclusive franchise rights for the region was granted to Ingka Group, which already operates 367 Ikea stores across 30 markets globally.

“We see this as a long-term commitment and investment in New Zealand, building relationships with customers, suppliers and future co-workers,” Ingka Group retail operations manager Tolga Öncü said.

First Retail Group analyst Chris Wilkinson told IRNZ he believes Ikea is very much about ‘scale of the experience’, and as such, will need to establish themselves with a larger-format store initially before considering smaller-format locations.

“NZ consumers are expectant and hungry for the brand to enter the country,” Wilkinson said.

“A slowing of the economy recently means they will enter the market at a more muted time, however, we still think it will have tremendous success [in] drawing shoppers from across the country.”

Wilkinson also notes he expects local competitors, such as The Warehouse, Kmart and Briscoes, to look to emulate successful elements of the Ikea business in order to keep competition on a level playing field.

Ikea has also announced plans to expand into other global regions, with another 15 stores set to open across Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Estonia, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Oman, Luxemburg, Macau and the Philippines in FY19.

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