IKEA in the Dock Over Pricing

      March 20, 2015 11:25

      Prices at Swedish furniture giant IKEA are the second highest in Korea out of 28 advanced countries, the Consumers Union of Korea said Thursday.

      The consumer group checked the prices of 49 IKEA products sold in 21 OECD member countries as well as seven non-member nations in Asia.

      Surprisingly, the prices were highest in Sweden.

      The next highest prices after Korea were in Australia, the U.K., France, the U.S., Switzerland, Canada and Japan.

      But IKEA products are still 37.4 percent cheaper than before the first store opened in Korea last year, when importers sold them at heavily marked-up prices.

      But an IKEA Korea spokesman pointed out that the consumer watchdog looked at only 49 out of some 9,200 products sold here, while only three or four of them are aimed especially at Korean consumers.

      "Most of the products target the European market and purchasing patterns there," the spokesman said.

      IKEA added it sets prices in view of the unique characteristics of different markets, tariffs, and the number of stores.

      The store in Gwangmyeong south of Seoul saw more than 2.2 million visitors since its opening last year.

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