Swedish retailing giant Ikea has announced its first recruit in New Zealand ahead of the blue box opening its first store on our shores in late 2025.
Johanna Cederlof will take on the role of market manager for Ikea Aotearoa New Zealand, responsible for the running of Ikea Sylvia Park and ensuring the Ikea range is accessible to New Zealanders throughout the country via Ikea’s online shopping offerings.
It’s another step for Ikea New Zealand on the road to its debut after last month announcing it had completed the purchase of the land and site at Sylvia Park for its first store. In August, Ikea secured its first warehouse, agreeing to develop and lease a 20,000-square metre purpose-built warehouse from Auckland Airport that would serve as the hub for the retailers’ Sylvia Park store and online operations.
Construction on Ikea’s Sylvia Park store began in June this year.
Cederlof started her Ikea journey in Finland in 2011, working in people and culture and business navigation.
In 2017, she became store manager in Raisio-Turku, Finland and since 2020, she’s been market manager for Ikea Vienna Westbahnhof in Austria.
“I’m so thrilled for the opportunity to establish Ikea as a leader in life at home for New Zealand, and help deliver our mission to create a better everyday life for the many New Zealanders,” Cederlof said.
“I can’t wait to immerse myself in a country with such a rich culture, people and values, to see how both our brand and home furnishing solutions can make the best impact from day one.”
Mirja Viinanen, CEO and chief sustainability officer for IKEA Aotearoa New Zealand, said Cederlof had impressed with her passion for retail and life-at-home expertise.
“She has a proven track record, having opened Ingka’s most successful City store during the pandemic in August 2021. From recruiting and on-boarding a team and establishing operations prior to opening, through to developing a strong customer fulfilment set-up and business growth following launch, Johanna has taken the store from strength to strength,” Viinanen said.
“We look forward to seeing Johanna’s strong leadership as she builds her team for Ikea in New Zealand.”
Ingka Group, whose core business is Ikea Retail, controls 379 Ikea stores across 31 markets, according to its website.
Cederlof said as the first market manager for Ikea in New Zealand, she wanted to bring the Ikea brand into the hearts of many through a convenient omnichannel offer.
“Our home furnishing expertise, a consistent sustainability agenda, our concept, and strong culture and values,” she said.
“When I joined Ikea in 2011, I was asked what I wanted to do in 10 years’ time. I said I wanted to be a market manager, and when they asked where, I answered, ‘If Ikea ever opens a store in New Zealand, I want to lead it’.”
Ikea Sylvia Park will be a three-level, 34,000sq m development with ground-floor car parking. The store is planned to be the size of three rugby fields.
As well as selling the latest design and home furnishing, the store is expected to feature a restaurant serving Ikea’s famous Swedish meatballs and hotdogs.
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