IKEA showroom to finally open in Auckland

JESSICA TASMAN-JONES
Last updated 05:00 28/09/2011
ikea
IKEA, I-LIKE-A: Rumours of Ikea's arrival in New Zealand have been circulating for years.

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Speculation has been building for some time and now an IKEA supplier has confirmed it will open a showroom in Auckland next month.

Myflatpack will open a store in Newmarket in mid-October.

While the company is not affiliated with the Swedish homeware giant, its showroom will be the first dedicated stockist of IKEA in New Zealand.

IKEA's mega centres, which stock cheap furniture and designer homeware, are hugely popular overseas and New Zealand shoppers have been campaigning for years to get the store here.

Myflatpack, which currently sells IKEA products online, says it is launching a showroom because customers wanted to see products before buying them.

It will initially sell products already available on its website before expanding the range.

The online catalogue currently stocks IKEA office and kitchenware, sofas, bookshelves and children's furniture.

Myflatpack says it chose Newmarket because it is a busy shopping area and is close to public transport.

Last month online forums were rife with rumours an IKEA store would open at Auckland's Westgate Shopping Centre.

A Facebook group called I want IKEA stores to open in New Zealand, where many of the rumours were circulating, has close to 10,000 members.

Cebas - the IKEA franchise holder with the rights to open the first official branch in New Zealand - had reportedly postponed opening here due to the small market and poor economic conditions.

But Myflatpack, which has been operating online for over a year, reports there has been no slowdown in demand for its products.

Manager TJ Whimp says opening during the economic downturn benefitted the online seller as people looked for more economic ways to furnish their homes.

Following overwhelming website traffic last month, the company had to upgrade its website server capacity to keep up with demand.

More details about the showroom address and its opening date will be released soon.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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