Ikea set to open flagship Auckland store

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Friday, 11 January 2019, 10:11a.m.
The flagship store in Auckland will employ around 200 people. Photo / Supplied
The flagship store in Auckland will employ around 200 people. Photo / Supplied

All of New Zealand will have access to Ikea.

This was the message delivered by Ikea boss Jesper Brodin and market leader Will Edwards at a speaking event in Auckland today.

While the first store will be located in Auckland, Brodin said the whole nation would be able to access the products through online delivery.

There was also good news for meatball lovers, in that the Auckland venue would be getting one of the company's iconic restaurants.

The flagship store in Auckland will employ around 200 people, and Edwards said that Ikea will soon be looking to fill some of these roles.

These details come off the back of last month's announcement that Ingka Group had been granted exclusive rights to explore expansion opportunities in New Zealand.

Ikea was today expected to also make an announcement on whether the first store will be a large or smaller venue. This story will be updated as more information is released.

Today, the executives confirmed the company would be making a big digital push, which give New Zealanders across the North and South Island access to Ikea products.

Brodin has recently placed enormous emphasis on Ikea's online delivery model, which it is looking scale across numerous countries.

Brodin's arrival in New Zealand follows his flying visit to Australia, where he outlined details on the company's strategy in global markets.

While in Australia, he said the company was interested in launching smaller-format stores that offered same-day delivery.

There has been speculation that this strategy may result in a smaller store being opened in the local market.

This has quickly sparked a media frenzy in the local market, with many shoppers excited at the prospect of having access to well-loved brand in the local market.

The speaking venue has been set up to resemble an Ikea store. Photo/Aimee Shaw.
The speaking venue has been set up to resemble an Ikea store. Photo/Aimee Shaw.

Globally, IKEA reaches 1.2 billion customers in more than 50 markets.

The company has garnered something of a cult following across the world and the brand has been widely integrated into numerous pop culture references.

Democratic design

Brodin spoke today about the importance of 'democratic design' to the company.

He described it as an incredibly difficult challenge, which focuses on designing items that are beautiful, useful and affordable.

He said that so often the most beautiful items tend to be expensive, while the cheaper utilitarian options don't offer the style consumers are looking for.

He said the aim of Ikea is to ensure the company meets all those tenets through its products.

One such product that has attracted global reknown, and which will be available in New Zealand, is the Billy bookcase.

While it is simply a bookcase, the product has become massively popular due to its stylish design and the quality of its construction.

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