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IKEA stand-in opens first store in Russia

The Swedish furniture-making giant closed stores and sold factories to local buyers due to Ukraine-related pressure

Russia’s first store of Belarusian furniture maker Swed House, which sells home goods intended to look like IKEA products and is poised to fill the void left behind by the Swedish giant, opened its doors in Moscow on Saturday.

The new Swed House store opened in the capital’s Shchelkovsky shopping mall and reportedly extends over about 330 square meters, selling kitchenware, home textiles and furniture accessories.

Earlier, Swed House said the product range would include kitchen products, textiles and furniture accessories produced both in factories that cooperate with IKEA in China and in Russia.

Textiles are reportedly manufactured in the factories the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which had previously cooperated with the Swedish company. The goods are reportedly identical in both design and quality.

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The company had previously announced plans to open at least five retail outlets in Moscow by the end of the current year.

Last month, the head of Russia’s Union of Shopping Centers Bulat Shakirov said that the Belarusian company may open up to ten stores in Moscow by the end of the year, and another 50 outlets across the country in the coming years.

Last year, Ingka group, the Swedish company that owned IKEA stores and Mega shopping centers in Russia, joined a long list of international corporations suspending business in the country due to Ukraine-related sanctions.

The world’s biggest producer of furniture said it would sell factories, close offices and reduce its 15,000-strong workforce in Russia. It reopened for a brief online fire sale last summer.

The company was reportedly looking for buyers for its Russian real estate. Meanwhile, the sale of IKEA’s three factories was approved by a Russian government commission earlier this year.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

April 15, 2023 at 08:31PM

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