Ikea eyes NZ not just for retail
A sister company to Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is on the hunt for investments in New Zealand, and not necessarily of the retail kind.
While there’s no news on when exactly Ikea’s stylish shops will open in New Zealand, Ingka Investments Management NZ and Ingka Investments Forest Assets NZ were quietly registered with the Companies Office last December. Both are described as related to forestry and are owned by Ingka Investments, a Dutch-based investment arm of Ingka Group, Ikea’s largest owner-operator.
An Ikea spokesperson said: ‘‘Ingka Group is considering different opportunities, including forestry investments in the country. We will share more information as it becomes available.’’
Ingka Investments was ‘‘constantly looking for new opportunities that are linked to our core business,’’ and ones which supported its sustainability goals and climate commitments.
Overseas, Ingka Investments holds a diverse portfolio including stakes in a truck-sharing business, a logistics co-ordinates firm and plastics recycling businesses. According to its website, it invests in companies, and ‘‘in people before companies,’’ only aligning with businesses that share its values.
Ikea has previously said it would not use New Zealand materials, so the forestry businesses appear to be for investment only.
Ikea itself remains a bit of a mystery in New Zealand, after announcing its launch here two years ago and promising three stores.
In The Australian Financial Review last month, Ikea’s outgoing Australia/new Zealand chief executive Jan Gardberg set pulses racing by saying: ‘‘We are on the way there [to New Zealand] in the next three to four months.
‘‘We have already the locations, the strategy, who we are doing the deals with, and so on.’’
Sylvia Park in Auckland has long been tipped to be a site. But the mall’s owner, Kiwi Property, declined to confirm or deny, referring inquiries back to Ikea.
New Zealand has long been on Ikea’s radar. It came close to opening its first Kiwi store in 2008, but lost a four-year pursuit after the Environment Court ruled its then proposed location in Auckland’s Mount Wellington would cause too much traffic disruption.
Ikea then laid low until 2019, when it announced it would open a full-sized store in Auckland, a smaller one in Christchurch, and a planning studio in Wellington. But the company remains quiet on where the sites will be or how they are progressing.