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Two years after announcing it would open stores in New Zealand, including plans for a Christchurch outlet, it today announced an agreement to buy land at Sylvia Park, owned by NZX-listed Kiwi Property Group in the suburb of Mt Wellington, Auckland.
Mirja Viinanen, chief executive officer and chief sustainability officer for Ikea New Zealand, made the announcement.
"While the Covid-19 pandemic has presented unforeseen challenges and developments, the intention has always been for Ikea to enter the New Zealand market in a good way. This has included identifying the best locations for future stores and customer meeting points.
"That is why Ikea is working in partnership with Kiwi Property Group, with their proven retail experience and expertise, to enable us to bring Ikea to the many New Zealanders in the best way possible."
Viinanen said: "At Ikea, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Since we announced our intention to enter the market, the response from New Zealanders has been overwhelmingly positive. The signing of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate with Kiwi Property Group is an important step in making this a reality.
"We look forward to sharing more details of our plans and timings to bring Ikea to the many New Zealanders in the near future."
An update in February 2020 also outlined plans for a smaller-format Ikea store in Christchurch.
Clive Mackenzie, Kiwi Property Group chief executive, welcomed the retailer.
"We're excited to be taking this important step towards having an Ikea presence at Sylvia Park. Our goal is to reinforce the centre's standing as New Zealand's leading shopping destination, attracting customers from around the country. We look forward to working together with Ikea New Zealand."
In 2019, Ikea said it would open in New Zealand "with multiple physical and digital customer touchpoints providing access to people across the entire country".
Ingka Group said two years ago that it would open its first store in the Auckland area, following Ikea Systems B.V. granting franchise rights.
"While exact locations are currently not confirmed and timings are being finalised, there are plans to open three customer meeting points during the launch period," it said in 2019.
These include a full-sized Ikea store in the greater Auckland area where people can access the entire Ikea range and have the complete shopping experience, a planning studio in Wellington and a second smaller-format store in Christchurch.
Ikea will also launch its full e-commerce offer during this period.
Jan Gardberg, country retail manager for Ikea New Zealand, said previously: "We are looking forward to opening Ikea in New Zealand with access for people across the entire nation.
"Ikea is a leader in home furnishings around the world and we want to partner with the many New Zealanders to provide inspiration and affordable home furnishing solutions to create a better everyday life at home."