Lovers of good design at a reasonable price are to be denied an IKEA store in New Zealand, supposedly because of the “traffic chaos” the store would cause: Kiwis are to be denied something they want because they want it too much.
Nanny state obviously knows best for them, ‘we’ll have no trouble here.’
The whole of New Zealand has a population of less than 4.3 million people. London (with all its congestion problems) has 7.5 million people yet manages to cope with a store that services not just London but much of the SE of Britain.
Honestly, if New Zealand can’t cope with a single department store how on earth is it going to cope with the Rugby World Cup in 2011?
We think the real reason for IKEA being kept out of NZ is that its reputation for selling desirable goods for desirable prices would be the death of many New Zealand businesses and product manufacturers.
Where in New Zealand could you kit out a flat for under $1,000?
Here’s how the news was broken to a devastated country:
“Kiwi fans of the Swedish furniture outlet IKEA face an indeterminate wait for the brand to arrive in this country.
Perth-based Cebas is the IKEA franchise holder for Western Australia and South Australia. It also holds the rights to open New Zealand’s first branch of the flat-pack furniture retailer. But despite rumours of an imminent launch, the company has decided not to proceed.
“We have stopped looking for a site for the present time,” said the franchisee’s Auckland retail consultant Paul Keane, from RCG, after he received a call from IKEA putting the brakes on his firm’s site-hunting.
The company has faced setbacks in its almost four-year pursuit of a site. The Environment Court ruled in 2008 that the company could not be a tenant in Mt Wellington retail development Redwoods because of concerns its popularity would cause traffic chaos.
Hamilton then put its hand up in late 2009 to host an IKEA outlet. Its economic development agency invited IKEA scouts to visit the city, but the response was reported to be lukewarm from the Australian franchise owner.
Currently a Facebook fan page calling for a New Zealand IKEA store is “liked” by 5073 people.
The fan page includes a call for a petition, numerous threads on message boards which bemoan New Zealand’s sans-IKEA-status and even 66 people lobbying for a Wellington branch.”
There have also been rumours that North Shore City and eco-city Waitakere were considered as likely sites. You’ve got to hand it to IKEA, at least they tried.
We loved some of the comments that were left on the Stuff website about this report, here are some of them
This is utterly stupid. I’m a Kiwi currently living in Aus and I’ve just completely furnished a 2 bedroom apartment for $1300, including the couch. Get with the times NZ and sort out a place for Ikea. It’s needed there!
Just shows how stupid the ENvironment court is. NZ is just so backwards – why do we always have to miss out on these things?
Why ship the stuff half-way around the world? Shouldn’t we be making it in NZ? It’s all CAD-CAM manufacturing anyway – feed it into a local machine shop and make the stuff here from local materials with local labour. Sounds a lot more environmentally friendly to me.
Such a shame they got turned down, but that stretch along Mt Wellington Highway can be chaos at the moment, let alone having an amazing store like that there. I live on the Ellerslie side of Mt Welly so thank god don’t have to use the Mt Wellington on/off ramps! However how can a Mitre 10 Mega be approved to be built at the already overly congested Lunn Ave and IKEA gets turned down for a store on the Mt Wellington Highway?
My home town in the UK turned down IKEA for the same traffic chaos reason. It went 20 odd miles down the road instead to Milton Keynes where their roundabouts could cope. The stores do have a huge catchment areas but Auckland already has traffic problems!
Stores like The Warehouse and Freedom would suffer but rightly so – Freedom’s prices are ridiculous and you can get the same thing in IKEA for a fraction of the cost. And The Warehouse quality is definitely not on par. IKEA offers more than both as well, with great opportunities to make your home your own – fabric, frames, the little things that give it different look. My suitcase is also full of IKEA knick knacks when I get the chance to visit a store. Disappointing to know we are no closer to our own store!
I went to Sydney, bought a kitchen at Ikea and shipped it back. Its on a par with Kitchen Studio for quality, but price wise, half it and throw in a weekend break in Oz. Definitely worth it. Ikea will shake up the marketplace here and that’s a good thing.
Every time I go to Sydney or Melbourne my suitcase is half full of Ikea purchases when I get home. I’d bring a bed and couch back if I could. And their Hong Kong store was a wonderland – like being in Wonka’s chocolate factory. If they opened in Auckland (say, somewhere like Wairau Park?) it would be an annual pilgrimage…
I wish Ikea would actually come here. I sometimes find myself browsing their AU website and wishing i could splurge a little and buy everything i want. why do i feel like the ‘concern that it may cause traffic chaos’ is a half-arsed excuse?
Bring it on, and to those in the know Argos would do pretty well here too.
I would drive from Wellington to Auckland to buy furniture from Ikea if they opened there. and even with the cost of fuel it would be cheaper. And the choice would be greater. And the quality would be better. And then I could eat their delicious Swedish meatballs for lunch. And it would crack yet another NZ duopoly. Waiting for Godot… NZ is waiting for Ikea!
It’s cheap, cheerful, and is of much better quality than the ridiculously overpriced rubbish that is sold in New Zealand furniture shops. That’s what all the fuss is about.
Having grown up with Ikea stores, I can guarantee that it would do well here. It would be fantastic to have a branch in NZ and I’m sad to hear that it’s future here is now uncertain. It’s definitely more than a furniture store because it sells all the homeware that you could ever need. Ikea is great, especially for people setting up their first homes. It’s affordable, stylish and it’s all under one roof.