Välkomnande till Ikea i Belfast

I have some sympathy with those who argue that the visit of three PSNI officers to Malaga to witness first hand the impacts of an Ikea superstore on the local environment. Although the response to the opening of the store at the Holywood Exchange was less than overwhelming. |I would give it time, and a weekend or two. The last time I visited one was in Nottingham during our exceedingly wet summer. The car park was full of a lot of stressed and unhappy drivers. But, as reader Mark points out, the Malaga store has been taking stick for the wider impacts of its cheap goods policy.

  • gram

    Apparantly Ikea paid for the police trip. I thus don’t see what the problem is?

  • Daisy

    I don’t understand Ikea’s popularity. I’ve only ever been to one once (Glasgow, 2 years ago), more out of curiosity than need, and was completely underwhelmed by the cheap tat on sale, but completely overwhelmed by the crowds loading up their trolleys and jostling for position at the checkouts.

    I’d like to think the lack of enthusiasm for today’s opening was due to NI people having good taste, but I suspect it’s more to do with people wanting to avoid a stampede.

  • Suilven

    I take nothing as exciting as this happened then…

    Tuesday December 11, 2007
    The Guardian

    With an estimated 2,000 people doing their Christmas shopping, the Ikea store in Vallecas Villa, Madrid, could not have been much busier. But the shopping experience became even more of a crush on Sunday evening when armed robbers rammed their vehicle into the store while shoppers were still going about their business.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,,2225576,00.html

  • eranu

    daisy, is it really cheap tat? i got the catalogue through the door the other week and was hoping to have a look this weekend. alot of their stuff looks colourful and reasonably stylish in it.

  • Mark McGregor

    I lived in a city that had one, the amount of identikit homes just variations on the same Ikea theme was incredibly dull. Instead of style it indicated a lack of imagination or individuality.

  • eranu

    mark, i think you find that alot these days anyway with people buying the same stuff out of the big name chain stores ‘home’ departments.
    where would you go these days to find unique furniture and decor? only thing i can think of is one of those old fashioned country stores.. nothanks…
    either that or just whittle something up yerself..

  • Dr Strangelove

    I have been to the IKEA store on the north circular in London and I have to agree with Daisy.. the quality of the furniture on sale really is poor… however, the place is always rammed… Having experienced IKEA I cannot believe MFI get such a bad rap for the quality to their stuff in comparison.

  • Mick

    Funny enough, it’s not that popular with people in Sweden. The appeal is its ‘Swedishness’ and can probably be sourced to the poor design sense found in other parts of Europe.

    Though I have to say the ‘tat section’ has got a lot bigger and tattier in the last ten years.

  • Mark McGregor

    Can someone let me know if they sell Lingenberry juice if they have the Swedish food section, I love it with Vodka.

  • Eddie

    IKEA

    Do you not think that the Belfast Telegraph has totally lost the run of itself over Ikea?-front page spalsh, several adoring stories AND an editor’s Comment piece telling us how lucky we all are! And What about the jobs that will be lost elsewhere in the retail economy??

  • Suilven

    >Can someone let me know if they sell Lingenberry juice if they have the Swedish food section, I love it with Vodka.

    Dunno about juice, but they definitely sell lingonberry jam.

  • Eddie, I just think the Belfast Telegraph has lost the run of itself. It’s just one big advert sheet with “news” content getting thinner and lighter all the time. It’s a rag, and it’s a sad reflection on Northern Ireland that that’s our biggest-selling paper.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Yep, what beano said.
    At least in the old days it had the authority that came from being an establishment rag. Now it’s just an established rag. Every day I buy it I wonder why I bothered five minutes later. It’s a complete mess, nothing but barely re-written wire reports and filler. The layout is a fiasco, they’ve sacked all their good columnists, the cartoon on the editorial page is just inexplicably woeful and most bizarre of all the pomposity of the leaders has gotten even worse since Ed Curran stopped writing them – something I’d have previously reckoned impossible. Although I note that Ed is still popping up as the official echo chamber of the NIO’s north down golf club wing. And Jude Collins is in it today as well – couldn’t we have a real republican instead of Irish News sloppy seconds? (Or thirds, in his case.)
    It’s so depressing, it used to be a good paper and it could have been a great one but it’s missed its chance now and we’ll all just have to watch it die a painful, lingering death.

  • wild turkey

    SRR

    Well we agree on somethings.

    The pomposity of the Belfast Telegraph is exceeded only by its, ah, provincialism? (yeah I am a blow in. 1970s vintage)

    As I recall a few years ago there was an article headlined

    AGONY OF ULSTER FAMILY IN WET CLOTHES: CHRISTMAS DREAM HOLIDAY NIGHTMARE AS WASHING MACHINE/DRYER COMBO BREAKS DOWN!

    The article was about the Boxing Day Tsunami.

    FSF!

    To all and sundry in the sluggersphere, have a restful, peaceful and enjoyable holiday.

    Best wishes and regards
    WT

  • gram

    >>Eddie, I just think the Belfast Telegraph has lost the run of itself. It’s just one big advert sheet with “news” content getting thinner and lighter all the time. It’s a rag, and it’s a sad reflection on Northern Ireland that that’s our biggest-selling paper.<

  • Bemused

    Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside to see the Telegraph slowly and painfully reap it’s just desserts. Any supposed all-Belfast paper that insisted on a diet of ‘ulster’, ‘province’, ‘mainland’ etc. deserved all that it’s now getting. There is a huge market out there for a paper that either insists on calling this place ‘Northern Ireland’ and nothing else or gives parity of esteem to the geo-political nomenclature deployed by both sides of the community i.e. a genuinely cross-community evening paper that the whole community can enjoy reading and more importantly paying for. The Telegraph had it’s chance but was too interested in aping the little-englander bluster of the Newsletter to seize the opportunity. Good riddance.

  • Animus

    I have bookshelves which are several years old from Ikea. They are a minimum of fuss and do the job. We have a dining table that has also done the trick. It certainly outlast MFI stuff.

    I don’t quite understand why people accuse the shop of being full of tat because they don’t like a few items. You don’t have to buy it all, and there is nothing to stop you from customising items as you see fit. It’s the same with clothes shops and everything else. Unless you’re willing to do it yourself, or can afford Heal’s, you have to buy furniture somewhere.

    It’s like a reverse snobbery – oh it’s so identikit – I went but I didn’t really want to, I didn’t like anything, just went to watch the plebs fill their trolleys with cheap rubbish, oh it was just horrid. I had to have the housekeeper make me an extra strong G&T;when I came in from my excursion.

  • ND

    It’s grand if you are kitting out a student house or you are just starting off like we were, it’ll get you through a year but it is not especially good value, it is disposable shtuff.

    On topic, it was an entirely reasonable trip for the polis and I think it’s a reflection of the way the local media has gone that it is news at all. This happened in Edmonton, a crap chavy part of north London,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4252421.stm

    A bit like a lot of areas of Belfast in truth.

    I’m glad i am not alone in my view of the telegraph. I used to deliver it and can recall bringing home the extras and whilst it was always adverisment heavy it seems particularly poor now.

    I follow the markets a little and particularly those that will be tied to the construction sector all over europe, the ‘tele coverage of the housing market in NI is some of the craziest stuff you’ll ever read. It’s so inconsistent and generally at odds to comon sense. Just a lack of real news I guess.

  • Harry Flashman

    If you value your marriage do NOT go shopping in Ikea with your wife.

    Let her go on alone or with her sister or somebody, you do something else; dig tree stumps out of the garden, get a root canal operation or have a colonoscopy but do NOT go shopping in Ikea with your wife.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Stop dissing the Telegraph. I love it’s “here’s a picture of some scantily clad ladies” sections thrown randomly in between the badly-researched news articles.

    Regarding the “police sent to Malaga to witness Ikea opening thing”, this is quite plainly what they call “viral marketing”. Ikea paid for it, because they wanted it to become public knowledge that the opening of an Ikea is such a big deal that the police need special training in order to deal with it. It’s an ingenius marketing move.

    Sadly for them, I think it might have gone full circle. The media has been so full of “Ikea opening will be insane” that a lot of people have stayed away, fearful of the traffic crush. We’ll see how they get through the weekend, but I wouldn’t want to be there this side of Xmas.

  • Animus

    Harry – I agree with you. That must be a first.

  • DK

    Harry – well said. There is something in the female (and male, if I must admit it) psyche that makes Ikea stangely compelling. The design of the store where you have to follow the route through everything, and the lovely little show rooms on the way round make a purchase compulsory.

    There used to be daily bus runs from Belfast to assorted Ikeas in England and Scotland. These were always full.

    Ikea is excellent value and has a staggering range – that is why it is popular.

  • willowfield

    I wouldn’t want to be there this side of Xmas.

    Nor me, but I wonder why a furniture store should be particularly busy at Christmas. I don’t ever recall either giving or receiving furniture as a Christmas present.

    Incidentally, of what benefit is the arrival Ikea to our economy? Surely it is damaging as it will take business away from indigenous businesses?

    Indeed, of what value are any of these retail developments to the economy. How does retail generate wealth?

  • Ikea is class and my house is already furnished with many items of Ikea furniture purchased at Brent Way and Croydon. Now there is a Belfast Ikea, I can fill my house with even more Ikea goodies like Flygvapnet bedside tables and Jönköping DVD player cabinets. And I can eat lingoberry jam, reindeer meatballs and Swedish crispbread. Don’t buy their Christmas non-alcholic Glööh though. It’s vile.

    I would imagine the chaos will arrive tomorrow and get worse on Sunday.

    Ikea is good. The Bellylaugh is a pathetic joke of a newspaper. (“What’s Hot On Ulster Dinner Tables This Winter by Some Crappy Staff Reporter Who Thinks She’s Cultured Because She’s Been to Some B-Grade University on the ‘Mainland'”.)

  • willowfield

    Can anyone answer my questions?

  • Skintown Lad

    big nationals only take money OUT of northern ireland. everyone’s an employee and the fat-cats live elsewhere.

    that Tele article headlined “Ikea good news for everyone” completely failed to appreciate the hundreds of small keepers and their employees, whose businesses have been at the heart of communities for years, having to consider closing down

  • Indeed, of what value are any of these retail developments to the economy. How does retail generate wealth?

    Because when there are pretty, shiny, trinkets to buy, people spend their money on them, and some of that money goes to the people who work in the shops in the form of wages. They then spend that money on other pretty, shiny, trinkets and we get what is called a virtuous cycle.

    If there are no pretty, shiny, trinkets to buy people save their money (Northern Ireland for a long time) and there is no domestic demand for goods. For a classic example of place without a retail sector today, I’d suggest you have look at Cuba, and before you get all gushy about it, I’d point out that “Sicko” isn’t really an impartial source.

    Also, if you wonder whether people buying shiny trinkets really makes a big difference, compare the economy of the Republic with the economy of Germany over the past 15 years. Germany’s long slump was greatly exacerbated by people neither having the confidence to spend money nor to borrow it, and the consequent lack of domestic demand.

    big nationals only take money OUT of northern ireland. everyone’s an employee and the fat-cats live elsewhere.

    I’m not necessarily convinced that big retailers are the salvation of the universe, but I remember all this talk when Tesco and Sainsbury’s moved in here in a big way. People forget that local retailers like Stewart’s were expensive, had a poor selection of goods and paid poor wages. I also note is the implicit idea that Northern Ireland can’t produce anything that can compete; classic example of what’s wrong with this society.

  • willowfield

    Because when there are pretty, shiny, trinkets to buy, people spend their money on them, and some of that money goes to the people who work in the shops in the form of wages. They then spend that money on other pretty, shiny, trinkets and we get what is called a virtuous cycle.

    But if there were no Ikea, for example, people would spend their money in other shops instead, and some of that money would go to the people who work in the other shops in the form of wages, etc.

    If there are no pretty, shiny, trinkets to buy people save their money (Northern Ireland for a long time) and there is no domestic demand for goods.

    Surely they will spend their money on something else.

    Also, if you wonder whether people buying shiny trinkets really makes a big difference, compare the economy of the Republic with the economy of Germany over the past 15 years. Germany’s long slump was greatly exacerbated by people neither having the confidence to spend money nor to borrow it, and the consequent lack of domestic demand.

    Are people more likely to borrow or spend because of the existence of large retail developments? Was Germany’s slump caused by insufficient numbers of large retail developments?

    You seem to be saying that spending is necessarily good for the economy, and the mere existence of more and more retail centres encourages spending, therefore this is good. In that case, can I ask:

    – does it not encourage debt?
    – are large amounts of personal debt good for the economy?

    – I may have mistaken you for someone else, but I think you said on another thread that it would be bad news if house prices fell. Yet surely if you argue that spending is good, falling house prices will mean people have more money to spend on their shiny trinkets.

  • willowfield

    Thinking bigger, retail is bad from an environmental point of view, because they encourage people to buy things they don’t need, which means the earth’s resources are squandered making these things. In particular, this increases demand for fuel and therefore increases the price of fuel. Ultimately this will cause an economic disaster, when fuel becomes unaffordable.

  • Animus

    Willowfield – your’re impatient. They sell textiles and other things as well as furniture items. Look online and you will have a better idea of the range of items. I have given a CD rack as a Christmas present – does that qualify as furniture?

    If Ikea takes business away from the overpriced Creations, with its snotty staff and poor customer service, I’ll be happy enough.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Willowfield:

    Yet surely if you argue that spending is good, falling house prices will mean people have more money to spend on their shiny trinkets.

    People tend to stretch a little bit to buy a nice house. If house prices are falling, that means that the capacity to purchase houses is falling, and consequently the amount of spare cash available for people to spend on shiny trinkets is also falling.

  • pith

    Has Paisley expressed any view on the store’s Sunday opening hours or is that not an issue with him anymore either?

  • Comrade Stalin

    In Paisley’s defence I can’t remember him speaking publicly about Sunday observance, and I can’t remember the DUP having a policy on it either.

  • pith

    Despite his consistently poor attendance at Westminster, I assume he did show up at some point during the long debates in the 1980s over Sunday opening. I can’t put a time on it but I do remember him using a silly phrase like ‘continental Sunday’ as an example of what should be avoided in his version of Ulster.

  • willowfield

    Animus

    Your comment would seem to be irrelevant. It certainly doesn’t address any of my questions.

    Comrade Stalin

    People tend to stretch a little bit to buy a nice house. If house prices are falling, that means that the capacity to purchase houses is falling, and consequently the amount of spare cash available for people to spend on shiny trinkets is also falling.

    That doesn’t follow. If I can’t afford a mortgage on a house and choose instead to rent or live with parents, or whatever, then I will have more spare cash than if I had opted for the mortgage.

  • pith

    Is there a DUP policy on Sunday trading?