Ireland collectively stopped holding it’s breath this morning with the opening of the 1st Ikea store in the Irish Republic. I for one welcome it as, contrary to what people might expect, I love Ikea. Their shops offer you great value furniture and accesoires, great food and excellent childcare facilities while you shop. The retail concept works (obviously) and I expect to spend many, may euros in the Dublin Ikea store.
One thing surprised me though. Being a non-Irish company I expected Ikea to not sell their goods at prices significantly higher than their other European stores. Well I was dissapointed!
The above pictures are from two identical products; one from the Irish Ikea store and one from the Dutch. There is a 140 euro price difference for the *same* product. And it’s not the only one. There is a 25% price difference across the line.
Now call me a fool but I have trouble believing that this is because Ikea is trying to take the collective Irish people for a ride. Instead I suspect that this might be caused beause of the ridiculously high costs of doing business in Ireland.
Either way it’s wrong that two the same products from the same retailer (Ikea) should have such a price-difference in countries that are both in the same economic zone (the EU). I’ll see if I can get someone from Ikea to comment and will post their reply here.
Update: I must add that there is only a relative small difference with the prices in the Ikea Belfast store. However while I understand that the costs of doing business vary across Europe I have compared prices with 5 different countries and Ireland is by far the most expensive…