Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Competitors unfazed by IKEA

Swedish furniture giant opening soon but other stores are ready to rumble

  • Print

Furniture retailers in Winnipeg whose names are not a four-letter acronym are ready for Wednesday.

That's the day IKEA opens one of the biggest retail spaces in Canada at Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway. For competitors of the European furniture giant, it is, quite simply, go time.

But don't expect to be stuck in traffic and see bus ads trumpeting a sale at EQ3.

"There's no reason for one. We sell different products. We don't have to get people in the door based on price," said Peter Tielmann, the company's president and CEO.

"We want to remind people that we're here and what we stand for."

That includes playing the patriotism card by informing consumers that more than half of everything it produces, including sofas, mattresses and wood products, is made in Canada.

Despite all the bluster, the christening of the giant blue and yellow building won't signal the death of the local furniture industry, Tielmann said. In fact, he said he believes IKEA will get a big percentage of Winnipeggers thinking about their homes -- and then spending on them -- and that's good for all competitors.

"In Toronto, we have three stores in the same area that they have four stores and Toronto is our best market. We compete against them in Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, too. The market quickly finds out the difference," he said.

Mark Dufresne, CEO of Dufresne, agrees. He said the buzz will cause some people to buy from IKEA while others will continue to shop where they have for years.

"We aren't going, 'Oh, my goodness. What's going to become of us?' This is something we're looking forward to, just like everybody else," he said.

Dufresne said the family-run outfit decided to have some fun with IKEA's arrival. His team bought a number of different IKEA products and put them together -- while videotaping the assembly -- so they could get a firsthand look at what they are up against.

"We compete against IKEA in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa. It's new for our Winnipeg team but our organization knows a lot more about IKEA than we ever have in our past," he said.

"They're going to be a force. They're going to have lineups and a lot of excitement in the community over their opening. Our experience is you're not going to stop that. It's best that you just join in," he said.

Cynthia Brick, co-owner of Brick's Fine Furniture, said she's going to wait about three weeks for some of the hype to die down.

"Otherwise, my advertising will get lost with all the excitement surrounding IKEA," she said.

Her pitch will be that Brick's offers furniture that could become family heirlooms and last for decades.

Brick said IKEA often appeals to university students living in dormitories, but once they get out into the real world, they start to walk into her store.

"I don't get them the first time -- I get them the second time," she said.

After 43 years in the furniture business, Brick said she knows what it takes when a new player enters the market.

"I've weathered enough of these storms. There will be a lot of hype surrounding IKEA, but when it dies down, there will be customers who appreciate what we have," she said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 23, 2012 B6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


I Dream of Diesel at Rachel Brown Theatre scene preview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google