Thursday, 7 February 2008

NZ Environment Court bans Swedish trendsetters

The Environment Court has banned famous Swedish furniture business Ikea from opening a store in Auckland. The popular international retailers sells low-priced designer-style furniture, homeware and accessories.

The Swedish franchise has 273 stores in 36 countries, and has expanded outside its original European base to operate in North America, Asia, and Australia.

But in a ruling by the Environment Court, Ikea has been specifically banned from being a tenant in the new shopping centre in Redwood, because the Court believes it would create traffic chaos...
"Ikea stores are known to have high traffic-generating characteristics... Accordingly, they have been specifically excluded from allowable retail activities in this consent."
The key to Ikea's popular low price/high quality approach is that many of its products have to be assembled by customers (which many see as half the fun!) The full range in Ikea's catalogue is around 12,000 products.

Developer of the new Mt Wellington project, Tony Gapes, says he understands Ikea has been looking in New Zealand for quite a while, but doesn't think they could afford the rents at either his Auckland site, or the recently developed Sylvia Park.

The nearest Ikea for New Zealanders at the moment seems to be the Homebush branch in Sydney ;-(

* NZ Herald: Ikea not coming - because they'd be too popular
* Ikea Australia website

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