Ikea obsession: What are its bestsellers in Ireland?

Swedish manufacturer has neat designs, but Irish tastes are focused on storage

Hemnes (€300):  an off-white day bed with storage drawers underneath

Hemnes (€300): an off-white day bed with storage drawers underneath

 

After almost a decade in Ireland, Ikea has infiltrated every aspect of Irish life, from the homes we live in to our office canteen cups and mugs to the furniture and lighting in the short-let holiday stays where we go on vacation.

Over time we have learned how to fast-track our way round its warehouse, and decipher which items are the real workhorses of the range; the mattresses and beds, for instance offer real comfort and affordability, the sofas while good-looking are less strong on comfort. The tableware and kitchenalia is unparalleled and its Frakta bag, 70 cent, is one of the hardest-working items you will ever buy. Luxury brand Balenciaga paid homage to it last year with a crinkled leather design that cost almost €2,000, a eye-watering price point that must have piqued Ikea founder and champion of democratic design Ingar Kamprad, who died last January. The fact that the real fashion set sports the original going to the gym, laundry or to the toilet (as a bride) will likely have brought a big smile to his face.

Kallax unit (€49): eight-shelf unit comes in eight finishes
Kallax unit (€49): eight-shelf unit comes in eight finishes

While the firm sells some such cool items and collaborates with some of the world’s top designers, the items that top Irish shopping lists emphasise practicality over desirable design.

Bookcases

Items that make Ikea’s international best-selling lists are curiously absent here. The Billy bookcase, one produced every three seconds, with some 60 million fabricated since it launched, doesn’t make the cut. Neither does Poang, a wood frame lounge chair that owes a lot of its aesthetic to the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The firm’s Frosta, a stackable stool that also borrows heavily from Aalto’s catalogue, is also absent.

Instead, we, as a nation, are obsessed with storage. The top-selling item, as compiled from the top-selling items in the showroom part of the shop, is Kallax, €49, a simple eight-shelf unit that comes in eight finishes. But we Irish want it in white.

Micke, €60, a task desk designed to fit into small spaces is second on the list. And while they say 10 per cent of Europe’s population has been conceived on an Ikea bed, there isn’t one on the Irish list, not even the Malm bed, one of its most popular designs.

Micke (€60): a task desk designed to fit into small spaces
Micke (€60): a task desk designed to fit into small spaces

Instead, the Malm four-drawer chest, €70, is the third best-selling item. While it comes in a fashionable shade of Bordeaux, the plain vanilla-white version is the one that sells best. Its tall six-drawer brother, €90, is the fifth best-selling item in the Dublin store, again in plain white.

Under-bed drawers

In fourth position is Hemnes, €300, a – you guessed it – off-white day bed with storage drawers underneath, that are a useful way to help young kids store away toys.

We love the Ribba 23cm square frame, €4.95 each, to hang art and photos. It tops the best-selling list in the warehouse division of Ikea in Dublin. In second place is the very prosaic Istad, €2 for a pack of 60, reusable ziplock bags that work for lunches or pencils. Fjadrar, €6.25, is a feather cushion pad, a basic square internals for most standard cushion covers, is in third place. In fourth is Samla, a range of plastic stacking boxes. We Irish love the large one, €8, 56cm by 39cm by 28cm, that you will see in playrooms, garages and utility rooms across the land. In fifth place is Bumercan, a wooden hangar that makes garments in walk-in wardrobes have more appeal, €4.50 for eight.

Malm drawer units: at €70 and €90, they are very popular in Ireland
Malm drawer units: at €70 and €90, they are very popular in Ireland

Bestselling Ikea items in Ireland

Favourite showroom buys

1. Kallax, €49, a simple eight-shelf unit that comes in eight finishes but white is Ireland’s most popular choice

2. Micke, €60, a task desk designed to fit into small spaces

3. Malm, €70, a four-drawer chest, in vanilla white is the third-bestselling item

4. Hemnes, €300, an off-white day bed with storage drawers underneath

5. Malm, €90, the four-drawers’ tall six-drawer big brother, is the fifth-bestselling item in the Dublin store, again in plain white.

Most popular buys from Ikea’s warehouse section

1. Ribba, €4.95 per piece, a 23cm square box frame to hang art and photos

2. Istad, €2 for a pack of 60, reusable ziplock bags that work for lunches or pencils

3. Fjadrar, €6.25, is a feather cushion pad, a basic square internals for most standard cushion covers

4. Samla, €8, a plastic stacking box, 56cm by 39cm by 28cm, that you will see in playrooms, garages and utility rooms across the land

5. Bumercan, €4.50 for eight, a wooden hangar that makes garments look good.