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Swedish furniture giant Ikea will open its first store in New Zealand, the company announced today.
Jesper Brodin, Ikea global chief executive, will host an event in Auckland on Friday, January 11, where an exhibition of "iconic Ikea range" will be on display.
The company will be showing off its democratic design principals "where good design is the perfect combination of form, function, quality and sustainability, all at an affordable price."
The concept behind Ikea is to show people how their homes can be changed with the products which are displayed in the stores, so kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and lounge rooms are all shown, fully furnished.
While the product range and prices are at this stage unknown, if the New Zealand Ikea is anything like in Australia, Kiwis could grab outdoor products like a three-seat sofa for A$465 ($489.21), table with four chairs for A$459 or a charcoal barbecue with cabinet for A$528.
Spring bed mattresses start from A$99, and there are wardrobes at A$95 and clothing storage units at A$14.95.
Cookware products like pots and pans will set you back A$34.99 and A$24.99 respectively, while five-piece kitchen utensil sets start from A$4.99.
Those looking to upgrade their entertainment rooms, TV benches start from A$199.
New Zealand property experts said they expect Ikea to develop a massive warehouse-style store of up to 5ha or 50,000sqm, with thousands of carparks. Westgate on Auckland's north-western outskirts, are being picked as the most likely location for the business which generates massive traffic movements.
If Ikea develops the Auckland store along the same lines as many of its overseas ones, themed "rooms" will be built, each with the cost-effective but stylish distinctive designer furniture spread across the massive floor area.
Invites for Ikea's "official launch in New Zealand" have already been sent. The invite says fika will be served to invited guests. This is said to be a national institution in Sweden - a "coffee and cake break" or short time-out mid-morning refreshment.
Massey University retail management professor Jonathan Elms says it's great news for consumers.
"IKEA's a destination store. People will spend an entire day walking around. I think the retail landscape is going to change quite markedly over the next couple of years."
A number of sites are currently being considered, though there are concerns it could cause havoc on our roads.
Elms says the development will need careful planning.
"I think the council is going to have to work very closely with IKEA to make sure it doesn't have a detrimental impact on the environment, space and congestion."
Ikea was founded in 1943 in Älmhult, Sweden, by 17-year-old carpenter Ingvar Kamprad, who died earlier this year at the age of 91. The firm's name is made up of his initials plus those of Elmtaryd, his family's farm, and the nearby village of Agunnaryd.
Its flatpak furniture products, which requires the customer to assemble what they purchased at home, has become a pop culture reference that often features in films and TV shows.
Over its 75-year history, it has grown into the world's largest furniture retailer, employing over 200,000 staff across hundreds of stores spread across 49 countries.
As part of its international expansion plans, the company announced earlier this year that it would open the world's largest Ikea in Manila to grow its share of the Asian market.
Bloomberg reported the Philippines store would open in 2020, spanning across a 65,000 square metre space in the Mall of Asia.
The company also debuted the first of 25 stores in India in August and also announced plans to open a store in Tokyo in 2020.
Ikea has through its rapid growth and market dominance garnered a cult following internationally.