Ikea is coming — but don’t hold your breath
New Zealanders like to shop. They happily head to the malls and open their wallets for products they don’t always need even when they could stay at home and shop online.
The Swedish giant Ikea recognises this impulse to consume alongside other customers is as strong here as in every other market it operates in and is committing to bringing its particular brand to the big box landscape.
Ikea also seems to think that a slow burn approach will work in its favour. So yesterday when it confirmed that yes, it is coming, its advance guard of executives would not say exactly when or where it plans to fly its retail flag.
A $90 million investment in a fullservice store has been mentioned, so the financial stake Ikea contemplates is significant. It suggests 200 or so jobs could be available in its new store, a fraction of the 200,000 people employed in the broad retail industry.
The brand is hardly rushing to open its doors. The first store, somewhere in Auckland, will be up in running “within a few years.” That could be nearly 10 years away.
A second shop will follow in the South Island, with a location yet to be determined. Again, no details on the opening date.
New Zealanders, we know, like to buy and they like a bargain. They don’t like being taken for a ride.
Ikea ought to bear that in mind as it adds New Zealand — sometime in the next decade — to the 50 countries in which it operates.