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Beyond the expected

IKEA in the ACT – the countdown is on

By Alexandra Craig - 20 October 2015 44

Ikea

In four weeks, on November 16, IKEA will throw open the doors to its much awaited Canberra store. I personally have been excited for this for quite some time and am in desperate need of a new lounge so I can’t wait.

I wrote about IKEA’s opening in Canberra a little over a year ago and discussed some of the pros and cons of our new Swedish buddy at Majura Park. Most of these are to do with the new jobs IKEA will bring (ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr will meet with Ikea management and the first 100 or so of around 250 new staff today as they attend an induction day), as well as the jobs it would take from smaller independent furniture stores. A lot of comments did express excitement about Swedish meatballs, so that’s something to keep in mind for the opening date.

I think there’s another side to this though – how will IKEA shape the way big chain furniture stores like Fantastic Furniture and Domayne do business. I mentioned that I was in the market for a new lounge. My lounge looks like something that I pulled out of the Mugga Lane tip. I bought it when I moved to Canberra almost five years ago, from Fantastic Furniture. Five years of binge watching television, having lots and lots of friends’ butts sit on it or crash on it over night, not to mention the delightful impact one of my cats has had on it. It has overstayed its welcome for far too long (the lounge, not the cat) and last month I was sick of waiting for IKEA and took myself off to a major furniture store in search of a new one.

I found one that I liked but it was going to take nearly three months until it actually arrived for me to take home. Three months!? Ridiculous, I say. This isn’t a custom piece, nor is it from a small privately-owned store. It’s a mass produced piece from a major retailer.

I decided then and there I would wait for IKEA. The lounge I wanted from IKEA was better anyway, it’s a tad cheaper, and when I want it I can just walk in and get it.

While IKEA will definitely have negative flow-on effects for some retailers, I think the accessibility of product at IKEA will encourage other retailers here to become more competitive and savvy. No one is going to cop a huge wait when they can get a similar thing immediately from IKEA.

For the sake of small business in the capital I hope IKEA doesn’t thump the independents too hard, but I’m keen to see it force other big businesses to tighten up their trading practice quick smart.

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
IKEA in the ACT – the countdown is on
watto23 2:20 pm 20 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Meanwhile your money will have left the country barely touching the sides in its rush to be reunited with Mr Ikea reportedly a Swedish Scrooge MacDuck. The Australian competition will have closed down because it actually pays regular wages AND its taxes in Australia.

You will then probably not notice the next dreadful negative Australian Trade imbalance, because who pays attention to that stuff, it is bad every month anyway, and proceed to blame someone else, the unions, the government, people who like to eat for a living, everyone except exactly the person who did it. You.

While I completely agree, blaming Ikea for it is ridiculous. Are we going to point to Aussie companies that also offshore there income where possible to avoid tax, or the numerous ways the wealthy in this country avoid paying tax. They play within the rules that are set by our government and many other governments around the world. Its a very big issue and its not going to disappear anytime soon. Governments don’t have the fortitude to stand up to the wealthy and large corporations.

However the local furniture stores in Canberra have to now stop overcharging a ridiculous amount for furniture. Not everything at Ikea is going to last and is priced as such. I’ve found their Billy bookcases though to last a long time indeed. Had 3 of them for 15+ years and no sign of needing replacement, and thus bought a heap more for my study. However as per recommendation I’ve anchored mine to the wall also, which has helped them stay strong.

I’ve found their home wares to be of extremely good value. I bought an Ikea wall unit for $299 and it lasted around 14 yrs also. It would have lasted longer, but I decided to rearrange the furniture and get a new wall unit. They clearly make a product many people are happy with. Its not perfect by any means, some things feel very cheap and many look pretty ugly.

I am a fan of competition and variety. Ikea doesn’t compete with quality furniture. If those stores close down, its not because of Ikea. If you want a quality solid wooden desk, you don’t go to Ikea to buy one. Places like Fantastic Furniture are going to be the real losers IMO.

watto23 2:06 pm 20 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

Holden Caulfield said :

MEATBALLS!

Sorry to ruin your day:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/horse-meat-found-in-ikea-meatballs/story-e6frg6so-1226585487864

As someone who has been to a restaurant in Slovenia that actually served horse meat and also ate horse meat in Kyrgyzstan, neither country it is considered exotic or strange, I find the paranoia about things like this amusing. Now I take issue if its labelled as beef, but actually horse meat, but otherwise its meat and i eat meat. I don’t have this western standards system of whats an acceptable meat to eat other than not eating endangered animals or animals that are farmed in a cruel way (ie korean dog farms which are similar to battery hens).

ungruntled 12:57 pm 20 Oct 15

Rubyait, many of your comments may be correct, but I do not think your comments about the quality of Ikea products is correct.

My experience has been quite the opposite. I have put in two Ikea kitchens & forn no problems at all. The pieces were cut to within a millimetre accuracy, they went together easily and lasted well. I am now living in a house where the flooring is Ikea & has been here for 25 years & still looks good – quick mop & it’s sparkling.

I think it is important to be accurate, not just “spew” negativity.

On the down side, I have found the Sydney Ikea shops not very disability friendly & am looking forward to find out how this one stands up. Some of us cannot walk 2 & a half kilometers & there were no electric
“go-fers” available nor isles wide enough to navigate.

Holden Caulfield 12:56 pm 20 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

Holden Caulfield said :

MEATBALLS!

Sorry to ruin your day:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/horse-meat-found-in-ikea-meatballs/story-e6frg6so-1226585487864

Sorry mate, I have a stomach of steel, you’re gonna have to do a lot better than that to ruin my day, haha.

Alexandra Craig 12:01 pm 20 Oct 15

pink little birdie said :

I need some specific pieces of furniture. I’m going to go shopping on Ikea’s opening weekend at other furniture stores because they will all be having sales.
Woo!

That is actually an excellent idea! I might do that myself for some smaller bits and pieces I need.

Maya123 said :

Only five years out of a lounge; that’s awful. They should last twenty years at least. My previous, very cheap lounge did, despite having tenants in the house who also used it; plus their friends. And there were cats using it too. It did get a new, washable cover though, plus some minor structural repairs. Finally when I replaced it after twenty plus years, it was still good enough to finder a buyer for it, so it went to another home and not the tip.
Furniture used to be bought for a lifetime and then often passed down through the family; now it’s treated more as a disposable. Cheap furniture companies, such as Ikea, encourage that wasteful idea.

Really?! 20 years for a cheap lounge? Maybe I use my lounge more than other people though… I do all my writing on the lounge and all my admin work for my charity takes place there too.

rosscoact 11:20 am 20 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

IKEA must have changed if it can deliver stuff “off the floor”. Last time (and only time) I tried to buy something on display at an IKEA store I was told floor stock was not for sale and the items I wanted would take 2 months to be available.
Enjoy your meatballs.
PS You don’t happen to drive a Volvo, do you?

You must have been unlucky, every time I’ve bought stuff there it’s in the racks out the back. Getting it on the roof racks without damaging yourself or the car is an entirely different proposition.

JC 11:12 am 20 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

You will then probably not notice the next dreadful negative Australian Trade imbalance, because who pays attention to that stuff, it is bad every month anyway, and proceed to blame someone else, the unions, the government, people who like to eat for a living, everyone except exactly the person who did it. You.

And how much of the furniture you buy from elsewhere is made in Australia? Sure you can find some, but the bulk is imported. So no change to balance of trade and the world isn’t going to end with the arrival of Ikea to Canberra. But might be an ideal location for the terminus of the Russell extension to light rail.

dungfungus 10:55 am 20 Oct 15
dungfungus 10:43 am 20 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

All we need next is WalMart to do to us what they have done to the United States.

I am assuming that you mean only the fashion conscious shop at Walmart? ha ha

Maya123 10:38 am 20 Oct 15

Only five years out of a lounge; that’s awful. They should last twenty years at least. My previous, very cheap lounge did, despite having tenants in the house who also used it; plus their friends. And there were cats using it too. It did get a new, washable cover though, plus some minor structural repairs. Finally when I replaced it after twenty plus years, it was still good enough to finder a buyer for it, so it went to another home and not the tip.
Furniture used to be bought for a lifetime and then often passed down through the family; now it’s treated more as a disposable. Cheap furniture companies, such as Ikea, encourage that wasteful idea.

pink little birdie 10:22 am 20 Oct 15

I need some specific pieces of furniture. I’m going to go shopping on Ikea’s opening weekend at other furniture stores because they will all be having sales.
Woo!

I prefer to pay Ikea/fantastic prices for high quality second hand pieces.
I paid $500 for a second hand couch and it’s fantastic. Big and comfortable and still going strong after 4 years of second handness (3 moves so far). (Our dining table is also second hand).

Holden Caulfield 9:30 am 20 Oct 15

MEATBALLS!

dungfungus 8:54 am 20 Oct 15

IKEA must have changed if it can deliver stuff “off the floor”. Last time (and only time) I tried to buy something on display at an IKEA store I was told floor stock was not for sale and the items I wanted would take 2 months to be available.
Enjoy your meatballs.
PS You don’t happen to drive a Volvo, do you?

rubaiyat 8:25 am 20 Oct 15

All we need next is WalMart to do to us what they have done to the United States.

rubaiyat 8:20 am 20 Oct 15

Personally I can’t help but notice that Ikea’s furniture is made to minimal standards in some third world country with no labour laws and they have structured the business to move nearly all profits to the Netherlands and whatever other tax haven they are currently using.

The net result for most people is going to be a long drive to a remote store which has a windowless internal layout designed to deliberately disorient you like in a casino. There you will succumb to your consumer imperative to go home with something because “after all we drove all this way”.

Having got home you will struggle for how many hours to assemble the piece possibly damaging or stuffing it up because it is made out of ticky tacky. After a not too long time after having trashed it you might go buy another or wake up that too good to be true usually is, and buy something better that lasts.

Meanwhile your money will have left the country barely touching the sides in its rush to be reunited with Mr Ikea reportedly a Swedish Scrooge MacDuck. The Australian competition will have closed down because it actually pays regular wages AND its taxes in Australia.

You will then probably not notice the next dreadful negative Australian Trade imbalance, because who pays attention to that stuff, it is bad every month anyway, and proceed to blame someone else, the unions, the government, people who like to eat for a living, everyone except exactly the person who did it. You.

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