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IKEA in the ACT? It’s not all good news

By Alexandra Craig 19 August 2014 50

flat-pack-stock

Whip out your Allen keys; IKEA is coming to the Capital.

Whilst a vast majority of Canberrans are rejoicing at the prospect of purchasing trendy and affordable furniture without having to take a day trip to Sydney and lug it all back down the Federal Highway, others are considering the downfalls of the Swedish flatpack furniture giant appearing in the ACT.

Once IKEA arrives and opens for business, you can expect it to pretty well demolish independent furniture stores. Sales will probably start to dwindle pretty quickly and staff will need to be laid off to meet costs and some of these businesses will have to close their doors indefinitely. Even the larger chain stores like Fantastic Furniture may see a drop in sales given that IKEA is delivering a similar product at similar prices, paired with the novelty of it being a fresh new brand.

One business that we are likely see close down almost immediately is Bring it Home, a small business owned by two best friends – Michael and Loyzek. These guys travel to Sydney, pick up IKEA orders for customers and transport it all back to Canberra, delivering people’s goods right to their front door. I really feel for these two – they have a pretty unique business model and through no fault of their own, it will eventually come crashing down on top of them. Perhaps there may still be business opportunity for them in Canberra? I have a small car that wouldn’t fit much furniture in it – even when it’s flatpacked – could there possibly be a niche market for Canberra and surrounds delivery? If Michael and Loyzek can compete with whatever price Ikea charges for home delivery, I think they would probably retain a good customer base.

Are there any pros in IKEA coming to Canberra? Yes. A few.

Besides the awesome furniture and funky home décor that IKEA specialises in, with new business – and big business at that – comes a stack of new jobs. Hopefully down the track the poor souls that inevitably lose their jobs in small furniture stores will be able to pick up employment with IKEA. The last thing the Territory needs right now is more job losses.

You can also expect a boost in visitors from cities like Goulburn and Wagga Wagga now that they have no need to drive to Sydney for all their Swedish furniture needs. IKEA opening at the Majura Park shopping centre will hopefully bring a big breath of fresh air to that precinct and boost sales in the many stores that always seem to be lacking customers. Perhaps it’s just my luck but whenever I head out to Majura Park – fairly regularly, at least 2 or 3 times a week – it’s always a ghost town. It’s the best place to do your shopping if you, like me, hate people and like to shop in peace.

When the furniture superstore opens up in about 12 months time, will you be there pushing and shoving to get through the door first? Or will you, like other Canberrans, be throwing your Allen keys into the lake and boycotting the Swedish supererstore in favour of some locally-owned, independent furniture stores?

What’s Your opinion?


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50 Responses to
IKEA in the ACT? It’s not all good news
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dungfungus 8:44 am 23 Aug 14

HiddenDragon said :

If it helps to keep more of the retail consumer dollars in Canberra, rather than just substituting for what’s already here, that’s a positive – and likewise for the other big name retailers who are apparently interested in establishing outlets here.

I agree with what you suggest but while Canberrans are the biggest on-line shoppers in Australia the local retail sector will suffer.
The multinational big name retailers contribute very little to our economy.

HiddenDragon 6:15 pm 22 Aug 14

If it helps to keep more of the retail consumer dollars in Canberra, rather than just substituting for what’s already here, that’s a positive – and likewise for the other big name retailers who are apparently interested in establishing outlets here.

dungfungus 2:45 pm 22 Aug 14

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

justin heywood said :

watto23 said :

I have bought 7 of the billy bookcases from Ikea. 3 of them I’ve had for 10 years are still standing (they come with a wall fasterner!) don’t look old and tired and cost me $69 each. Timberland couldn’t even do me a bookcase for double that.

Snap. I’ve got 6 Billys – my wife even bought me the book on the history of Billys for a joke (actually not a bad read).

Like you, Watto, I expect a lot of the naysayers haven’t seen much of IKEA. Quality can vary with the price, and the style is variable too, although generally with the same sense of clean Nordic practicality. Some of their new kitchens look great.
I love the place.

Just to set the record straight, I attempted to purchase some furniture I saw in a printed IKEA catalogue 30 years ago.
After confirming availability and price over the phone I set off to the Sydney store (Silverwater?) early the next Saturday morning with a hired van only to discover on arrival that they had sold out of the items I wanted weeks earlier and they said were sorry I was given the wrong information. They even refused to sell the items I wanted which were on display. The attituyde of the staff was appalling.
I have since checked their website and find that their stuff doesn’t appeal to me now as it did when I was 30 years younger. Tastes change with time.
Regarding the obvious price differences between solid timber furniture from Timberland and laminated MDF from IKEA, there is also the hidden danger of the nasties in MDF that can escape into the confined atmosphere of one’s home. Are you aware that cabinet makers handling MDF have to wear special facemasks to avoid inhaling the fumes?
Just as I am not happy to have asbestos in my home, I am not happy to have excess quantities of MDF.

I’ve yet to see anything made of MDF at Ikea. Mostly particle board which is perfectly safe, at least the bookcases are. Despite what you may think I’ve only got a few pieces of Ikea furniture. The rest I bought locally like my desk, bed etc.

Its perfectly fine to say the Ikea style isn’t to your taste and buy elsewhere. Finally you actually tell us your Ikea experience and that is fine. Nobody has to like Ikea. Many do, so its a good thing for those people.

Although I’m still waiting for you to actually tell me what concessions the govt has made. Technically the information should be freely available if there was an incentive given. I will listen when you can give me some facts.

Particle board is a type of man-made wood sheeting that is commonly made by pressing together wood shavings, sawdust and a formaldehyde-based resin. Particle board is used as the main material for cabinets and furniture. Still happy?.
I can’t tell you what concessions and incentives were extended to IKEA – my OP suggested they were made and I would like to know what they were. The report in today’s CT confirmed that incentives were given, not that anyone seems to care.

watto23 11:59 am 22 Aug 14

dungfungus said :

justin heywood said :

watto23 said :

I have bought 7 of the billy bookcases from Ikea. 3 of them I’ve had for 10 years are still standing (they come with a wall fasterner!) don’t look old and tired and cost me $69 each. Timberland couldn’t even do me a bookcase for double that.

Snap. I’ve got 6 Billys – my wife even bought me the book on the history of Billys for a joke (actually not a bad read).

Like you, Watto, I expect a lot of the naysayers haven’t seen much of IKEA. Quality can vary with the price, and the style is variable too, although generally with the same sense of clean Nordic practicality. Some of their new kitchens look great.
I love the place.

Just to set the record straight, I attempted to purchase some furniture I saw in a printed IKEA catalogue 30 years ago.
After confirming availability and price over the phone I set off to the Sydney store (Silverwater?) early the next Saturday morning with a hired van only to discover on arrival that they had sold out of the items I wanted weeks earlier and they said were sorry I was given the wrong information. They even refused to sell the items I wanted which were on display. The attituyde of the staff was appalling.
I have since checked their website and find that their stuff doesn’t appeal to me now as it did when I was 30 years younger. Tastes change with time.
Regarding the obvious price differences between solid timber furniture from Timberland and laminated MDF from IKEA, there is also the hidden danger of the nasties in MDF that can escape into the confined atmosphere of one’s home. Are you aware that cabinet makers handling MDF have to wear special facemasks to avoid inhaling the fumes?
Just as I am not happy to have asbestos in my home, I am not happy to have excess quantities of MDF.

I’ve yet to see anything made of MDF at Ikea. Mostly particle board which is perfectly safe, at least the bookcases are. Despite what you may think I’ve only got a few pieces of Ikea furniture. The rest I bought locally like my desk, bed etc.

Its perfectly fine to say the Ikea style isn’t to your taste and buy elsewhere. Finally you actually tell us your Ikea experience and that is fine. Nobody has to like Ikea. Many do, so its a good thing for those people.

Although I’m still waiting for you to actually tell me what concessions the govt has made. Technically the information should be freely available if there was an incentive given. I will listen when you can give me some facts.

dungfungus 11:43 am 22 Aug 14

dungfungus said :

montana said :

My prediction is that IKEA Canberra will be the one to close down after about 2 years of trading.

By then, the novelty would have worn off and people will realise that their budget priced furniture is really no good at all.

The ACT Labor minority government wouldn’t let that happen.
The deal must have been good to get them there in the first place given the competition that the airport people would have giving.

As I alluded to in my first comment as well, there must have been incentives and concessions granted by the government to get IKEA to move to Canberra.
This is confirmed in the CT today with Mick Gentleman (Planning Minister) confirming that the government was “really trying to incentivise large companies like IKEA to come to the Territory”.
No, the CT reporter did not ask what the incentives were.
The bottom line is that ACT ratepayers are subsidising huge global firms (who pay little tax if any, in Australia) to come here and put locally established retailers out of business.

dungfungus 6:54 pm 21 Aug 14

justin heywood said :

watto23 said :

[…. I have bought 7 of the billy bookcases from Ikea. 3 of them I’ve had for 10 years are still standing (they come with a wall fasterner!) don’t look old and tired and cost me $69 each. Timberland couldn’t even do me a bookcase for double that.

Snap. I’ve got 6 Billys – my wife even bought me the book on the history of Billys for a joke (actually not a bad read).

Like you, Watto, I expect a lot of the naysayers haven’t seen much of IKEA. Quality can vary with the price, and the style is variable too, although generally with the same sense of clean Nordic practicality. Some of their new kitchens look great.
I love the place.

Just to set the record straight, I attempted to purchase some furniture I saw in a printed IKEA catalogue 30 years ago.
After confirming availability and price over the phone I set off to the Sydney store (Silverwater?) early the next Saturday morning with a hired van only to discover on arrival that they had sold out of the items I wanted weeks earlier and they said were sorry I was given the wrong information. They even refused to sell the items I wanted which were on display. The attituyde of the staff was appalling.
I have since checked their website and find that their stuff doesn’t appeal to me now as it did when I was 30 years younger. Tastes change with time.
Regarding the obvious price differences between solid timber furniture from Timberland and laminated MDF from IKEA, there is also the hidden danger of the nasties in MDF that can escape into the confined atmosphere of one’s home. Are you aware that cabinet makers handling MDF have to wear special facemasks to avoid inhaling the fumes?
Just as I am not happy to have asbestos in my home, I am not happy to have excess quantities of MDF.

justin heywood 5:54 pm 21 Aug 14

watto23 said :

[…. I have bought 7 of the billy bookcases from Ikea. 3 of them I’ve had for 10 years are still standing (they come with a wall fasterner!) don’t look old and tired and cost me $69 each. Timberland couldn’t even do me a bookcase for double that.

Snap. I’ve got 6 Billys – my wife even bought me the book on the history of Billys for a joke (actually not a bad read).

Like you, Watto, I expect a lot of the naysayers haven’t seen much of IKEA. Quality can vary with the price, and the style is variable too, although generally with the same sense of clean Nordic practicality. Some of their new kitchens look great.
I love the place.

dungfungus 5:41 pm 21 Aug 14

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

IKEA is good-quality cheap furniture.

Not sure how their focus on small furniture for putting in poky city apartments will work out in Canberra, but on the whole their stuff is way better than similar cheap rubbish, and has better design, too.

If you want anything more solid, but not super-expensive, I can’t get over what good value this stuff is:
http://www.1825interiors.com.au/

This stuff appears to be made in Vietnam and there is nothing wrong with that except the styles seem pitched to the American market.
There is a store at the DFO/Homemaker Hub at Fyshwick called Timberland Furniture and they custom build variations of their floor stock in Australia for a little extra.
The timbers are mainly Australian and the prices are about the same as imported stuff. The quality is excellent.
In my experience, imported furniture that is cheap falls to bits within 2 years. This suits a lot of people these days. The main problem is getting rid of it as no one wants it so one has to pay for it to be disposed of at the tip.

Pretty much shows you’ve never even looked at an ikea catalogue, with that comment. I have bought 7 of the billy bookcases from Ikea. 3 of them I’ve had for 10 years are still standing (they come with a wall fasterner!) don’t look old and tired and cost me $69 each. Timberland couldn’t even do me a bookcase for double that.
I’ve also bought an entertainment unit from Ikea that lasted 12 years before I got rid of it this year. 12 years for a piece of furniture that cost me $299 is fine by me. I’m sure I could have paid $2000 for furniture that would last me a lifetime. But I’ll build it myself then like the winerack I’ve built or the new dining/games table.

I guess you only built your own wine rack because IKEA don’t make one big enough for you.

watto23 4:48 pm 21 Aug 14

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

IKEA is good-quality cheap furniture.

Not sure how their focus on small furniture for putting in poky city apartments will work out in Canberra, but on the whole their stuff is way better than similar cheap rubbish, and has better design, too.

If you want anything more solid, but not super-expensive, I can’t get over what good value this stuff is:
http://www.1825interiors.com.au/

This stuff appears to be made in Vietnam and there is nothing wrong with that except the styles seem pitched to the American market.
There is a store at the DFO/Homemaker Hub at Fyshwick called Timberland Furniture and they custom build variations of their floor stock in Australia for a little extra.
The timbers are mainly Australian and the prices are about the same as imported stuff. The quality is excellent.
In my experience, imported furniture that is cheap falls to bits within 2 years. This suits a lot of people these days. The main problem is getting rid of it as no one wants it so one has to pay for it to be disposed of at the tip.

Pretty much shows you’ve never even looked at an ikea catalogue, with that comment. I have bought 7 of the billy bookcases from Ikea. 3 of them I’ve had for 10 years are still standing (they come with a wall fasterner!) don’t look old and tired and cost me $69 each. Timberland couldn’t even do me a bookcase for double that.
I’ve also bought an entertainment unit from Ikea that lasted 12 years before I got rid of it this year. 12 years for a piece of furniture that cost me $299 is fine by me. I’m sure I could have paid $2000 for furniture that would last me a lifetime. But I’ll build it myself then like the winerack I’ve built or the new dining/games table.

Maya123 10:33 am 21 Aug 14

rosscoact said :

Maya123 said :

“1825 interiors”
I bought a reasonably (but not super-cheap) priced bedroom armchair there, and several cushions. I think they look very nice. It wasn’t their typical white furniture, which wouldn’t suit my house. My house style is too modern and bright colours for most of 1825 interiors furniture to fit in, but it’s nice to go look at. My style is closer to the nearby Kings Furniture.

Yeah, that country look, for me anyway, seems twee in a a modern house. I’m sure it looks great in a 150 year old house in Yass though

Yes, LOL, twee, a word I was too diplomatic to use when the saleswoman kept attempting to sell me one of their lounges with cloth curtains around the bottom. I kept telling her I have a VERY modern house and the style wouldn’t fit and that I wasn’t keen on lounges with cloth curtains around the bottom. (I think cloth curtains around lounges are TWEE with capital letters, bold font, etc, although I didn’t put it to her as strongly.) So she would show me another. I know she had a job to do, but I couldn’t help wonder if she had heard what I was saying. I ended up buying a red leather lounge with very modern sleek lines from elsewhere. Nothing like what she could offer me. However I did buy an armchair from 1825 and some cushions for my bedroom. The armchair was cheaper than equivalent that I saw elsewhere.

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