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Could Ikea be coming to a New Zealand site near you?

Swedish-founded furniture company Ikea may have New Zealand on its radar as a prospect for a store, though the outlet is so far remaining coy on the idea publicly.

Ikea has conducted research into the New Zealand market, Fairfax reports.

It reported property consulting firm RCG has been working with Ikea on market research in this country, though managing director John Long said he could not say what Ikea's plans were.

A spokesperson for the chain was quoted as saying Ikea is always exploring opportunities to expand and be more accessible to more people.

"However we do not currently have confirmed plans to open a store or sell online in New Zealand."

The report recapped past prospects for Ikea to open in New Zealand, including a 2008 Environment Court ruling that the company could not be a tenant in retail development in Auckland's Mt Wellington because of concerns its popularity would cause traffic chaos.

A Facebook page, "Bring Ikea to NZ" has 18,863 likes.

Retail consultant Chris Wilkinson, of First Retail Group, told Fairfax recent news that Ikea was considering a shift to smaller stores could be good news for New Zealand.

He said with the retail market changing rapidly, Ikea could establish smaller stores and have the product shipped from Australia or Singapore daily. 

The Swedish-founded multinational group, headquartered in the Netherlands, designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, and has been the world's largest furniture retailer since at least 2008.

The company is known for its modernist designs for various types of appliances and furniture, and its interior design work is often associated with an eco-friendly simplicity.

As of November 2017, Ikea owns and operates 411 stores in 49 countries, and the question now is could New Zealand be the next?

A living room furnished with Ikea. Source: istock.com


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