Ikea threatens Irish housewares

Published:  04 August, 2009

DUBLIN: Woodies, the retail arm of Grafton Group in Ireland dismissed any threat to its sales by retail giant Ikea.

On Monday, Ikea opened its second store on the island in Dublin; the Belfast store opened last year.

Ray Coleman, who runs Woodies, said: "We are always adjusting and innovating to attract business and our 41 locations are ideally placed around the country to give people quality and good value product without taking a day out of their lives."

He said that flatpack accounts for only 1% of business at Woodies and Atlantic Homecare, Grafton Group's Irish retail operations. Overall, just 12% or so of their total product range competes with Ikea, he said.

The collapse in home building has already decimated the homewares trade in Ireland with over 80 furniture and interior design companies closing this year. Industry commentators fear competitive pressure from Ikea will see the number rise. Multiples in Ireland have already begun tailoring their offers to meet the challenge from Ikea.

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