IKEA: Construction begins in Auckland on New Zealand's first-ever store

Flatpack furniture fans, rejoice: construction on the first-ever IKEA in Aotearoa is officially underway. 

The Swedish retail giant is building its first New Zealand outlet in Auckland's Sylvia Park, with an opening date slated for late 2025. 

AM reporter Emma Olsen attended the blessing of the site early on Friday morning, which included a traditional Maori stone being placed in the soil upon which the store will be built. 

Speaking to Olsen following the blessing, New Zealand project manager Giovani Rutigliano said the team were "very excited" for construction to commence. 

"It's a long time [away] but there are many details that need to be worked out in a store of this size, but work is in progress, we're meeting milestones day after day, so we're looking forward to late 2025," he said. 

Rutigliano promised the store will be "phenomenal" and offer a unique shopping experience for customers, which will likely include a visit to the IKEA restaurant for a taste of its famous Swedish meatballs. 

"The meatballs will be here," Rutigliano confirmed. "As well as our hotdogs and plant-based bowls, which have been a hit."

An impression of IKEA's Auckland store.
An impression of IKEA's Auckland store. Photo credit: IKEA

The IKEA will be roughly 34,000 square metres in size and consist of three floors: a ground-floor car park and two levels of retail, including the restaurant. 

For Aucklanders concerned about the impact the IKEA will have on existing traffic congestion in the area, Rutigliano said the team is working with local properties and the authorities to develop a traffic management plan and "optimise access to the site."

"But this is a phenomenal site, we have the motorways [in close proximity], so this is going to be super accessible for the many people of Auckland and the wider area," he added.

In a statement, chief executive for Australia and New Zealand Mirja Viinanen said Aotearoa "felt like a missing piece" for the international retailer. 

"We are humbled by the interest shown in IKEA and our home furnishing solutions and will do our absolute best to live up to such expectations. I wish everyone a smooth and speedy construction and very much look forward to welcoming New Zealand to the big IKEA family as soon as possible," added Tolga Öncü, head of IKEA Retail, Ingka Group.

And for everyone elsewhere in Aotearoa, IKEA will also be shoppable online, with its e-commerce platform slated to launch in tandem with the store's official opening in late 2025.