IKEA in Portugal to lower its prices as expat demand slumps

Published:  29 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Germany, Euro, England
Expats in Portugal to be treated to IKEA goodies at reduced prices.

One thing’s for sure, whether you’re an expat living in Portugal or are still in the UK, you’ll either love or hate IKEA and its iconic designs. When the Scandinavian store first opened its doors in the UK, it was mobbed by homemakers whilst their husbands huddled in corners snarling at any attempt to include them in purchasing decisions. Over the years, the store opened in countries across the world and its early designs became collectors’ pieces.

Time and fashions move on, and it’s just possible the latest IKEA offerings don’t have the kudos they had in the past. However, for most UK expats in Europe, there’s a store within reasonably easy access, even in Portugal. Unfortunately, IKEA’s prices become far less attractive when set against local, innovative furniture and accessory designs, resulting in falling sales being calculated against the increasing costs of developing, building, staffing and maintaining the huge stores.

In spite of Portugal’s large expat community, Portugal’s IKEA isn’t doing well at the present moment, as it seems to have lost its appeal for local homemakers and is far more expensive than the offerings from up-and-coming Portuguese designers. As a result, the Swedish furniture giants is now investing six million euros in reducing the prices of its products. According to a local store manager, the Swedish wish for equality is reflected in IKEA’s wish that everyone can afford their products; no matter how low their salaries.

He added he was aware that spending power in Portugal is far lower than in, say, Germany or Sweden itself, and also believes the market is not as developed as regards what constitutes a comfortable home. To date, prices on around 130 popular products have been cut, along with a promise the cuts will be long-term rather than just special offers.

The manager’s store is in the Algarve, a popular destination for British retirees able to remember the highlights of IKEA when the stores first opened across the home country, as well as the ravening mobs on the first day of its annual sales. One new service proving popular in Portugal is IKEA online, perhaps because expat husbands aren’t forced to tag along behind their wives on what used to be considered a fun day out for females and a worst nightmare for their menfolk!
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