Swede smell of success as IKEA sells million meatballs here
IKEA sold more than one million meatballs at its Dublin store last year.
The Swedish furnishing giant confirmed 1.027 million meatballs were sold at its Ballymun outlet in spite of the firm withdrawing a batch for sale in response to the horsemeat scare in February of last year.
A spokeswoman for IKEA Ireland said yesterday that the million-plus meatballs served at its Irish store in 2013 "would, if you were to line up all the meatballs, equal 41.8km, which would take you from IKEA Ballymun to Bray on the M50.
"Last year, 2.3 million shoppers to the Dublin store spent, on average, almost €2m per week as revenues marginally increased to €103m, with the business almost doubling pre-tax profits to €5.8m. IKEA's Danish-born Dublin store manager, Peter Steenberg said yesterday: "This year, I anticipate a positive development in our performance.
"In particular, I believe our kitchen business will do well as we have recently invested in rebuilding the department room settings with our new METOD kitchen range, as well as co-worker training and improving our delivery and installation services."
Mr Steenberg also confirmed that IKEA was seeking to identify sites in Ireland for a second store. "IKEA are committed to expanding in the Irish market and have been identifying sites in Ireland for a potential second store. However, we have no further plans to confirm at the current time," he said.
The firm's Dublin outlet – which is equivalent in space to five-and-a-half soccer pitches – contains 9,000 home furnishings, a 550-seater restaurant, a food hall and creche along with 1,850 car parking spaces.
IKEA's signature blue-and-yellow stores typically feature a restaurant that serves traditional Swedish food, including meatballs served with boiled or mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam.
Meatballs are also available in the frozen foods section. A batch of meatballs was withdrawn from sale at IKEA's Dublin store and stores in several other EU countries after horse was found in one consignment.
The store at Ballymun employs 421 people and Mr Steenberg said the business had positions for 10 IKEA food staff and two senior managers.