IKEA: Construction begins on NZ's first store

2 Jun 2023

Swedish retail giant IKEA - famous for its flat pack furniture - is starting construction on its first New Zealand store.

IKEA: Construction begins on NZ's first store - Figure 1
Photo 1 News

A ground-breaking ceremony is being held in Auckland today.

The store, which will be around 34,000 square metres, will be located at Sylvia Park.

"We know anticipation has been building since we first announced our intention to come to New Zealand, so we are excited to share our plans today as we take an important step closer to saying hej to the many New Zealanders," chief executive for Australia and New Zealand Mirja Viinanen said.

"We’re so grateful to iwi who have welcomed us to the land, in addition to Kiwi Property, our partners who have enabled construction to begin as we look towards our anticipated opening date of late 2025,” Mirja Viinanen said.

It's anticipated the store will open in late 2025.

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“New Zealand felt like a missing piece for IKEA and I am so pleased that, thanks to the support of the many involved, we are now able to start changing that. We are humbled by the interest shown in IKEA and our home furnishing solutions and will do our absolute best to live up to such expectations. I wish everyone a smooth and speedy construction and very much look forward to welcoming New Zealand to the big IKEA family as soon as possible,” said Tolga Öncü, head of IKEA Retail, Ingka Group.

The store will be three floors - the bottom level a carpark followed by two levels of retail - and have a restaurant and bistro featuring its famous meatballs.

Giovanni Rutigliano, the project manager for Ikea New Zealand, said the store's opening will create "hundreds" of jobs for Kiwis over the next few months.

"We are still working out a lot of details, but we are looking at recruiting most of our workforce locally in New Zealand.

"We will bring some from abroad, but the vast majority will be from New Zealand."

He expects the hiring process to start in the next few months, with leadership going first - followed by store employees closer to opening.

Rutigliano expects the store to make a difference in New Zealand's furniture industry.

"We know we have a very strong proposition and that our range and affordability are a strong proposition for our customers.

"New Zealand will have some affordable inspiration for their furnishing needs, so we expect to make some difference."

It's the latest international retail giant to confirm its plans in New Zealand. Last year, Costco opened its first mega-store in Auckland's Westgate.

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