Rejoicing over Ikea in Latvia

The Swedish furniture group Ikea opened its first branch in Latvia on Thursday. Latvian journalists are delighted - not just at the prospect of cheap furniture and scented candles.

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Neatkarīgā (LV) /

Furniture company setting new standards

Ikea has announced that it will give its customers the right to exchange and return goods, something many Latvian companies don't do. Writing in Neatkarīgā journalist Juris Paiders is delighted at the prospect of fairer retail rules in Latvia:

“When I first read the lines about how Ikea's arrival would radically change the trading system in this country, I was convinced it was just shameless marketing. That the journalist had simply copied the press release. Or that it was advertising in disguise. ... Now it looks like I could have been wrong and these claims are true. ... Because the fact that a key market participant is setting very high standards for its customers and ensuring that they will be implemented will clearly have a positive impact on the entire trading system and benefit us all.”

Delfi (LV) /

Meatballs more popular than Latvian music

The reactions of social media users show just how popular Ikea is, writes Delfi:

“Thirteen thousand people have said on Facebook this summer that they would go to the Latvian song and dance festival and 10,000 were interested in Positivus, the biggest and most important music festival in the Baltic states (with a high-quality music programme and a friendly atmosphere). But 18,668 Facebook users have confirmed that they want to attend the inauguration of Ikea. The last time people got this excited was when Kentucky Fried Chicken, H&M, Subway or McDonald's set up shop here back in the 1990s. If H&M wasn't on that list you could say that the Latvians only find Western fast food chains cool. Ikea, with its meatballs served alongside furniture, has hit the bull's eye.”