Ikea Canada has opened two new collection centres in Saanichton and Nanaimo, making it less expensive for Vancouver Islanders to buy some products from the popular Swedish home furnishings retailer.
It’s not the full-blown mega-store that many Vancouver Islanders were pining for, but it means the inexpensive flat-pack furniture that made the Allen key famous can be delivered to the Island for a $79 flat fee.
That’s less than the average $170 delivery fee customers would pay if they ordered large items such as a kitchen or living room furniture. Customers can still opt for home deliveries if they want the products delivered right to their door.
It’s likely good news for one local company that installs Ikea kitchens, but bad news for companies that do Ikea deliveries for less than the home delivery price.
Kyler Davalovsky, owner of IKAN Installations, said the collection points will have a positive effect on his company “because Ikea will be more accessible and affordable to customers on Vancouver Island.”
“There's a lot of people who wouldn't even consider Ikea as an option for kitchens because it’s costly to get it here, it’s a pain in the butt to go back and forth to collect missing or damaged items that show up on delivery,” said Davalovsky, a Camosun College carpentry graduate who has been operating the company since 2011.
However, the collection points could disrupt the business model for a company like Add2Cart, which has made a thriving business out of driving back and forth to Richmond to pick up Ikea orders for Vancouver Islanders.
For flat-pack items, the company charges 10 per cent of the purchase price plus a $30 order fee, said owner Kim Cordray. So on larger items, it will be hard to compete with Ikea’s $79 flat delivery fee to the collection points.
However, Cordray said she charges $10 to $39 for smaller household items. “It’s definitely good news for our customers and for people on Vancouver Island. I wouldn’t say it’s good news for us, but it’s been coming for a while so we just have to adapt to it.”
In 2015, Ikea Canada announced its plan to double in size by 2025, promising new stores and pickup counters across the country. That fueled speculation that a store could open on the Island, or at the very least, a collection point for online shoppers.
The announcement of the collection points means Islanders will not get the pleasure of browsing the store’s fluorescent-lit hallways and snacking on Swedish meatballs. The company opted for stores in Halifax and Quebec City that will open in the fall of 2017 and summer of 2018, respectively.
“In such a large country, it is important to offer a variety of solutions we can use to make shopping easier for Canadians,” said Ikea Canada president Marsha Smith. “Launching these locations was a natural next step to make shopping online at www.ikea.ca affordable for many more British Columbia residents.”
Ikea opened its first Canadian store in Richmond in 1976 and a much tinier satellite store in Victoria at 1010 Yates St., which operated from 1985 until Aug. 31, 1988.
The Saanichton collection point is located at 2205 Keating Cross Rd. and the Nanaimo location is at 4386 Boban Drive. The collection points are not Ikea stores and you can’t buy any products there. They are owned by a third-party service provider called XPO.