'It'll be quite significant' - furniture giant Ikea likely to open its first store in Auckland, university professor says

Grace Stanton
Source: 1News

There is a lot of speculation where the first Ikea store will be located after the Swedish company announced they’ll be opening a store in New Zealand for the first time.

Ikea is looking at opening a store in New Zealand for the first time.

Professor Jonathan Elms from Massey University says the first store could open on the North Shore at Albany Westfield, in South Auckland or half way between Hamilton and Auckland.

“It could potentially be the link that brings Hamilton and Auckland together," he said.

“They could also have a store in Wellington and Christchurch as that’s where the other big markets are.”

Professor Elms says if Ikea comes to New Zealand it’ll be quite significant.

“Rumours have been circulating for years about it coming to New Zealand," he says.

“It’s something new, something different, it’s definitely going to raise the bar.”

He says because of the size and popularity of the store it could cause traffic congestion and have a significant impact on other retailers.

“With competition comes innovation and Ikea are an innovator of change.”

It will create hundreds of jobs through their stores and online platform, he says.

Professor Jonathan Elms says the first store could open on the North Shore at Albany Westfield, in South Auckland or half way between Hamilton and Auckland.

"They will likely start with their big format stores and move toward smaller more 'convenience' stores," Professor Elms says.

But he doesn’t think New Zealand is big enough for an international furniture company of this size.

“Ikea only put stores where the population is at the $5 million mark for them to be successful, I guess we're getting there."

IKEA has reached 1.2 billion customers in more than 50 markets.

More information on the company's expansion will be made available by early next year.

Professor Elms says it is likely if they made the announcement today they will be here within the next couple of years.