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Best of Canberra callout – non-IKEA furniture outlets

By Charlotte Harper - 19 November 2015 38

Fakea. Photo: Francis Keany

Many, many, many of Canberrans love IKEA and were holding out for their arrival to buy new kitchens, sofas, dining tables and rugs. But others refuse to shop there or have actively campaigned to discourage others from doing do because the Swedish giant pays so little tax on its Australian profits.

Lobby group Fair Go for Canberra ran a very clever campaign to draw attention to IKEA’s legal tax minimization on the day the store opened this week.

They hijacked IKEA’s own in-store price-tags by sticking dozens of parody versions in their place around the Majura Park site. The “FAKEA” tags were designed to look like the real thing but included the words, “Design, quality and aggressive tax minimization”.

According to the Fair Go for Canberra website, IKEA has made over $1 billion in profit and paid less than 3% in tax since starting operations here in 2003.

So, given all the attention IKEA’s tax minimization has received, and because we want to help the local operators stay in business, we’re thinking now would be the perfect time to publish a callout for Best of Canberra – non-Ikea furniture stores recommendations. What are the alternatives to the Swedish giant? Where did we buy our furniture BI (Before IKEA)? Of those options, which do you think RiotACT readers should visit when they’re next in the market for affordable furniture?

Let us know in the comments and we’ll visit the two most popular over the weekend and announce a winner next week.

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Best of Canberra callout – non-IKEA furniture outlets
pink little birdie 3:06 pm 20 Nov 15

Maya123 said :

I went to look at IKEA yesterday without any intention of buying more than a coffee and perhaps trying their meatballs in the cafe. I did end up buying some things though. Although I found most of their lighting fixtures less interesting (very ordinary) than what I can find in most local speciality lighting shops, I did like one funky, spacey light fitting and bought some for new home owners I know for Christmas presents. I was also able to buy a single bed sheet without the package of unwanted fitted sheet and pillow slips. It’s very hard to buy a single sheet, unless paying top dollar for a designer sheet, but unlike most shops, IKEA have single sheets for sale. I also bought a new kitchen bin, as it’s the cheapest I’ve seen for what I got. So, (smile) so much for planning not to buy anything.
However, I found much of their furniture range low quality, and I would rate it only slightly higher than Fantastic Furniture. It’s no doubt good for first home buyers, but for people who want something better, it isn’t the place. I found many of the finishes (artificial veneers for instance) not to my taste, and I thought many of the lounge covers were thin. I will make a compliment though, that several of their bathroom vanities had porcelain basins; better quality than vanities with plastic basins, which, in my experience, after about ten to twenty years begin to discolour. The rugs I looked at were low quality artificial fibres.
I did also get to try the Swedish meatballs. My opinion is they were okay, but nothing outstanding. I bought what I thought was the smallest helping, but really too big for me for lunch, and then saw several other people with smaller helpings. Apparently there are so-called children’s serves, which are a better serving size for lunch and much cheaper too.
The problem with such a big shop is that to get to one section you must work your way through many other sections, which is time consuming, and then work your way to the exit. This is IKEA’s plan though, so that you will spend money on things that you hadn’t planned to, such as Muppet here did. I was planning to spend that money for Christmas somewhere though, but IKEA got in first.
I can’t see myself being a frequent visitor there though, as much of the furniture was not to my taste and I can find more interesting and better elsewhere; that is, if I ever need more furniture. What I have now will likely last the rest of my life. Some of it, has already had several owners and still going strong. I can’t see much of IKEA furniture managing this. It’s built for a disposable society. Buy, use it for a few years and chuck. Very wasteful!

I don’t have any furniture from Ikea but I do have a drying rack which is useful. I’m at the point where I would rather pay the same price as Ikea for better quality second hand furniture.
Fortuately for me I have mates who are willing to give us quality stuff for free because it is the wrong colour/wood.

dungfungus 1:30 pm 20 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

“According to the Fair Go for Canberra website, IKEA has made over $1 billion in profit and paid less than 3% in tax since starting operations here in 2003.”

2003?

Ikea has been in Australia many decades.

Its first store was in Gordon, Sydney in 1975.

But what about all the benefits they bring to Canberra?
Let’s see now, there’s er, er, um.
Mr Barr, what were all those good things you mentioned?

Maya123 12:17 pm 20 Nov 15

I went to look at IKEA yesterday without any intention of buying more than a coffee and perhaps trying their meatballs in the cafe. I did end up buying some things though. Although I found most of their lighting fixtures less interesting (very ordinary) than what I can find in most local speciality lighting shops, I did like one funky, spacey light fitting and bought some for new home owners I know for Christmas presents. I was also able to buy a single bed sheet without the package of unwanted fitted sheet and pillow slips. It’s very hard to buy a single sheet, unless paying top dollar for a designer sheet, but unlike most shops, IKEA have single sheets for sale. I also bought a new kitchen bin, as it’s the cheapest I’ve seen for what I got. So, (smile) so much for planning not to buy anything.
However, I found much of their furniture range low quality, and I would rate it only slightly higher than Fantastic Furniture. It’s no doubt good for first home buyers, but for people who want something better, it isn’t the place. I found many of the finishes (artificial veneers for instance) not to my taste, and I thought many of the lounge covers were thin. I will make a compliment though, that several of their bathroom vanities had porcelain basins; better quality than vanities with plastic basins, which, in my experience, after about ten to twenty years begin to discolour. The rugs I looked at were low quality artificial fibres.
I did also get to try the Swedish meatballs. My opinion is they were okay, but nothing outstanding. I bought what I thought was the smallest helping, but really too big for me for lunch, and then saw several other people with smaller helpings. Apparently there are so-called children’s serves, which are a better serving size for lunch and much cheaper too.
The problem with such a big shop is that to get to one section you must work your way through many other sections, which is time consuming, and then work your way to the exit. This is IKEA’s plan though, so that you will spend money on things that you hadn’t planned to, such as Muppet here did. I was planning to spend that money for Christmas somewhere though, but IKEA got in first.
I can’t see myself being a frequent visitor there though, as much of the furniture was not to my taste and I can find more interesting and better elsewhere; that is, if I ever need more furniture. What I have now will likely last the rest of my life. Some of it, has already had several owners and still going strong. I can’t see much of IKEA furniture managing this. It’s built for a disposable society. Buy, use it for a few years and chuck. Very wasteful!

rubaiyat 12:00 pm 20 Nov 15

Lazy I said :

watto23 said :

Wash the double standards of Australia. Every Australian company practices tax avoidance to some degree.

This.

Kerry Packer said it best.

I am not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.

IKEA had a hell of a lot of people working there when I checked it out, I am almost certain they weren’t commuting from Sweden.

Can you distinguish between paying the tax that you owe on profits earnt in this country \ and wages?

They are not the same thing.

It seems you are encouraging every employer to say “Why should I pay tax? My employees do it for me because they can’t afford my devious tax accountants and bank accounts in the Cayman Islands?

rubaiyat 11:56 am 20 Nov 15

“According to the Fair Go for Canberra website, IKEA has made over $1 billion in profit and paid less than 3% in tax since starting operations here in 2003.”

2003?

Ikea has been in Australia many decades.

Its first store was in Gordon, Sydney in 1975.

rosscoact 11:45 am 20 Nov 15

Ezy said :

Canberra Milk are my favourite local supplier of furniture.

😀 this did not go un-noticed.

I’m not into the mass-produced stuff that is a direct competitor to Ikea but there are some fantastic furniture makers about the place.

Uneke Furniture makes some beautiful stuff and Thor too as previously mentioned.

An alternative to Thor for custom built and joinery is Gino and Robyn at Select Custom Joinery out at Wallaroo, fabulous custom made pieces.

Ezy 10:51 am 20 Nov 15

A well designed custom piece from Thors Hammer would be nice.

http://www.thors.com.au/furniture

Ellen Harvey 9:55 am 20 Nov 15

Holden Caulfield said :

Meanwhile, back on track, a furniture store nomination… it’s not cheap, but Designcraft in Hume.

I would second this nomination. Gorgeous items, but absolutely not cheap.

Holden Caulfield 7:55 am 20 Nov 15

Meanwhile, back on track, a furniture store nomination… it’s not cheap, but Designcraft in Hume.

Lazy I 6:12 am 20 Nov 15

watto23 said :

Wash the double standards of Australia. Every Australian company practices tax avoidance to some degree.

This.

Kerry Packer said it best.

I am not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.

IKEA had a hell of a lot of people working there when I checked it out, I am almost certain they weren’t commuting from Sweden.

dungfungus 5:17 pm 19 Nov 15

watto23 said :

Wash the double standards of Australia. Every Australian company practices tax avoidance to some degree. But we will pick on IKEA because someone probably was unable to assemble their new bookcase and thus spat the dummy and decided to take revenge. Yes IKEA does the tax avoidance thing as do many companies and individuals.

The trade unions don’t practice tax avoidance.

Ezy 3:35 pm 19 Nov 15

Canberra Milk are my favourite local supplier of furniture.

watto23 1:53 pm 19 Nov 15

Wash the double standards of Australia. Every Australian company practices tax avoidance to some degree. But we will pick on IKEA because someone probably was unable to assemble their new bookcase and thus spat the dummy and decided to take revenge. Yes IKEA does the tax avoidance thing as do many companies and individuals.

wildturkeycanoe 1:16 pm 19 Nov 15

Why target Ikea? Consumers would be surprised at how much tax “minimization” is going on out there, even our politicians are raking it in through legal loopholes that earn money unethically (Smokin Joe is a good example). If we start boycotting them all there won’t be many places left to shop.

MERC600 1:03 pm 19 Nov 15

A couple of things you missed in telling us about fair go for canberra, in that it might have possible political leanings…
From their website (“What is Fair Go for Canberra?
Fair Go for Canberra is a community driven campaign enabling Canberrans to defend ourselves from the cuts, lies and broken promises of the Federal Liberal Government. We are inviting all Canberrans, and all community groups to join the movement. )

and also this ( Fair Go for Canberra Inc. gratefully acknowledges the in-kind support it receives from the Trades & Labour Council of the ACT (UnionsACT), 189 Flemington Rd, Mitchell ACT 2911 Australia.)

However if big companies are using tax minimisation ( as they call it ) to pay bugger all tax, then the Government needs to look at it. Perhaps the fair go people could have started 8 years ago, back in 2007 with Kevin from Qld; “here to help you”.

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