PHOTO: Swedish furniture giant Ikea has signed a deal to build a warehouse near Auckland Airport. SUPPLIED
Auckland’s Ikea Warehouse and Expansion Plans
Signs of Expansion
A logistics expert suggests that Ikea‘s establishment of a massive 20,000m² warehouse implies the furniture giant’s intention to open more stores in New Zealand.
Preparations for Auckland Warehouse
The world’s largest furniture retailer is preparing to import goods for its upcoming Auckland warehouse, scheduled for early 2025. This warehouse will support the company’s first store in the region.
Size and Operations
With a spacious 34,000m² footprint, the Mt Wellington store in Auckland will surpass the global average size of Ikea outlets. The company anticipates frequent shipments from Asia as the store’s launch approaches.
According to supply chain expert Professor David Robb from Auckland University, the expansive distribution center’s size is indicative of Ikea’s plans for additional stores.
To stock its initial store, Robb approximates Ikea would need over 100 40-foot containers initially, followed by around a dozen per week to maintain inventory levels.
Robb points out that Ikea’s flat-pack furniture design enables more efficient importation, reducing the need for as many containers. This contrasts with larger retailers like The Warehouse.
Future Expansion and Operations
Ikea has yet to disclose long-term expansion strategies beyond its first New Zealand store. The company intends to consider expansion opportunities aligned with local demand once its inaugural store is established.
Robb highlights that the number of containers needed for one Ikea store will be notably smaller compared to the daily container volume at the Port of Auckland.
The decision to invest in a substantial warehouse signals Ikea’s anticipation of a significant long-term presence in the country.
Last week, Ikea announced a partnership with Auckland Airport to construct and lease a 20,000m² warehouse at The Landing Business Park in Māngere, 15 kilometers from Sylvia Park.
The purpose-built warehouse will play a vital role in supporting the three-level store’s operations and its online shopping platform.
Supply Chain Advantage
Ikea’s supply chain is considered a competitive edge, enabling cost-effective manufacturing and shipping due to its flat-pack approach and eco-friendly materials.
The company collaborates with more than 1800 suppliers across 50 countries for raw materials. Market expansion manager Fabian Winterbine notes that for a store the size of the Auckland location, Ikea typically maintains six to ten weeks of stock.
Logistics and Operations
Container shipments are expected to arrive frequently, with a significant number of staff members hired to accommodate the store’s operation. Online shopping will not be available until the physical store opens.
Progress and Opening
Construction of the Auckland store is on schedule, with groundwork and piling slated for completion within the next six months. Above-ground construction is set to begin early next year, aiming for a Christmas 2025 opening.
Meanwhile, warehouse construction is imminent. Ikea, with 400 stores worldwide, has operated in Australia for nearly 50 years, with the upcoming Auckland store surpassing the size of most Australian outlets.