SEOUL, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) – Prices at the recently opened IKEA store in Gwangmyeong, on the outskirts of Seoul, are among the most expensive in the OECD. The only country with higher average prices than Korea is IKEA’s home base of Sweden.
The global furniture giant appears to have chosen a high-price policy in Korea, according to the Consumers’ Union of Korea, which conducted an analysis of the prices of 49 IKEA items being sold worldwide. The average IKEA product price in Korea was second highest among the 21 OECD countries that figured in the study.
According to the consumer watchdog, with the average price set at 0, Sweden ranked first with 1.70 points, while Korea followed right after with 1.10 points. IKEA prices in Australia (0.79), Great Britain (0.56), France (0.36) and the U.S. (0.33) were higher than the average. In eastern European counties like Poland (-1.29), Czech Republic (-0.96) and Hungary (-0.62) prices were lower than the average.
Among the 49 items in study, 44 are currently being sold in Korea at prices higher than the average, and the Korean prices for eight of the items are the highest in the world, including the IKEA PS 2014 storage table that sells for 129,000 won, which is 59.05 percent higher than the OECD average price.
Other products including the Hemnes bookshelf (44%), Besta Burs TV stand (43.48%), REGISSÖR glass door storage stand (41.8%) and Stockholm 3-person sofa (41.18%) also sell at a premium compared to the OECD average.
The phenomenon of high IKEA prices is not unique to Korea in the Asian market. Comparing the prices of the 49 items in 28 countries, of which seven are located in Asia, the highest prices for 39 of the items are found in Asian countries.
A representative from the Consumers’ Union of Korea said, “Considering that European countries impose more than 20 percent value-added tax, and that some Asian countries including Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Kuwait do not impose any tax, the sales prices of IKEA products in Asia are considerably high.”
By John Choi (email@example.com)