IKEA available soon in Auckland

IKEA may believe the New Zealand market is too small but one stockist planning to open a showroom in Auckland is overwhelmed at public demand - before it even opens.

Myflatpack says its servers crashed within an hour of an Auckland Now article linking to its website earlier this week.

The IKEA stockist currently sells the Swedish homeware chain's products online but will open an Auckland showroom within a month, it said on Monday.

Myflatpack manager TJ Whimp says due to the crash the company was unable to determine the amount of hits it received on Monday.

Whimp says the problem has now been fixed.

Online forums were rife earlier this week with rumours of an IKEA store opening at Auckland's Westgate Shopping Centre, but the speculations were unfounded.

Retail consultant Paul Keane, who regularly liaises with IKEA, said the retail giant was not ready to set up shop in New Zealand.

Perth-based Cebas is the IKEA franchise holder for Western Australia and South Australia and holds the rights to open New Zealand's first branch.

Thousands of fans of the store had been speculating on a Facebook fanpage that its arrival was imminent.

But members of the Facebook group say they would prefer the authentic IKEA experience rather than shopping at Myflatpack.

"I don't want to deal with Myflatpack or any other middlemen - or pay their markups! I want to buy directly from IKEA and be able to enjoy the IKEA store shopping experience!!!! That's half the fun," one member said on the Facebook group's wall.

Details about the Myflatpack showroom are expected to be revealed shortly but the company says it will be open in a "central location" within a month.

Auckland Now