Tuesday 22 January 2019

'Just need Aldi and life will be complete'- New Zealanders react to long-awaited arrival of Ikea

IKEA (Stock photo)
IKEA (Stock photo)

Rachel Farrell

New Zealanders have expressed delight at the news that Ikea will be opening a store there in 2019.

The Swedish furniture company announced last night that they are planning to grant the Ingka Group exclusive rights to explore expansion opportunities in New Zealand.

The Ingka Group currently operates the IKEA business in 30 markets around the world, including e-commerce and 367 stores.

Members of the public have described the news as an "early Christmas present".

"Wohoo! An early Christmas present, news that IKEA is coming to New Zealand! Just need ALDI to make an announcement now and life will be complete,"  MP Dan Bidois said on Twitter.

While the Swedish Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Par Ahlberger, said it celebrated the "250 years of friendship" between Sweden and New Zealand.

Foreign minister Winston Peter told Newstalk ZB suggested the news followed the government's decision to open a New Zealand embassy in Stockholm.

"They had all these other years they didn't come and now they're coming," he said.

The news trended on Twitter in New Zealand, with some social media users joking that it may lead to an increase in divorces.

A spokesperson for the Ingka Group said they hope to build a long term relationship with the island.

"We are happy to meet the wish from many people for IKEA to open in New Zealand and we aim to make IKEA fully accessible, including stores and ecommerce," Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group said.

"We see this as a long-term commitment and investment in New Zealand, building relationships with customers, suppliers and future co-workers."

While an Ikea spokesperson said they plan to make the brand a well-loved one among New Zealanders.

"Ingka Group has a lot of experience operating the IKEA business across the Asia Pacific and other markets and we are very excited to bring IKEA to New Zealand together with them," said Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO of Inter IKEA Systems.

"Together we’ll make IKEA a loved and meaningful brand for the people in New Zealand."

It is understood that further plans will be released early 2019.

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