IKEA in Auckland? Yeah right.
There is a common thread in all the rumour – none of it has anything official from IKEA or the IKEA franchise owner. You’d think that if you actually owned the franchise and were opening one up, you’d be pumping the free publicity for all it was worth.
There have been a number of sites rumoured, from Mount Wellington to Albany, a bit of digging shows that actually none of these were serious. There’s one thing for a developer to say they’d like IKEA to be there (who wouldn’t) or that their site “would be perfect for IKEA”, but that’s entirely different from a franchise holder saying “we are opening an IKEA here”, or someone is “looking at an IKEA for this site” – well I could rock up and say, “hey, this would be a good site for an IKEA”, but in reality that means sod-all doesn’t it?
My understanding of the situation (from someone at IKEA in Homebush) is that the franchise for NZ is held by the individual who hold the franchise in Perth, I guess IKEA must have figured NZ was a insignificant speck and gave it to them at the same time. The franchise holder has apparently shown little interest in NZ because of the commitments in Australia, or to on-selling the franchise.
This makes sense, the catchment areas in Australia service a population levels that match the entire population in NZ, and apparently IKEA have some pretty strict guidelines on the level of population that an IKEA store would need to service it. It is highly likely that at this point Auckland doesn’t achieve this and looking at IKEA’s overseas they always service at least two to three times the population area of greater Auckland (including Hamilton).
Setting up an IKEA is hugely expensive and the low prices obviously depend on a high turnover, you’d want to be sure of that before you made the huge investment required.
My pick is that IKEA is unlikely to arrive here until the population in Auckland hits 2 million.
Don’t despair, you can actually bring in IKEA gear. I have just imported an entire kitchen and bathroom from Homebush IKEA. Doing the sums we got a better looking kitchen and bathroom significantly cheaper than a pretty standard looking kit-set one from the likes of Mitre10 or Placemakers. As it all comes flat packed we got everything on a double pallet which cost about AUD800 to bring in. Even including air fares and a weekend in Sydney, shipping and the crate we saved about $3-4,000+ and got something of comparable or better quality and far better looking that was was available locally. There is a bit of fiddling around as you have to arrange the freight, but there are companies who can arrange the shipping etc and it’s not that bad if you are set on the IKEA option. I know someone else who got a whole container and did their whole house.
We waited a year for IKEA to appear and after doing some digging I discovered that it was unlikely to appear here in the near future so took the second best option. If anyone wants some help or recommendations I’m happy to give them if you want to import your own shipment.