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  1. #1
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    Default IKEA - Santo Domingo

    So IKEA is setting up shop in the Dominican Republic. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for cheap ass furniture that looks good, but not in a country with an unstable economy in need of an industrial shift that improves the condition of its population and not foreign investors. The island is already being raped by the tourism industry and now that IKEA is in the mix, small enterprise furniture manufactures on the island will become endangered. 100,000 families in the Dominican Republic rely on the countryís furniture industry for its livelihood so I spit on the 500 new staff positions IKEA plans to bring to the country. Foreign investing can work. President Fernandez should create incentives that attract better companies. Companies that will use the countryís resources and its artisans to establish a strong export industry that will generate foreign income for Dominican business owners. Ikea might give the impression that Dominican Republic is developing into a more modern economic state but itís a false hope that doesnít do enough to improve the economic condition of its people. The Swedes donít need Dominican pesos, the one third Dominicans living below the poverty line do. The 20% of Dominicans living in extreme poverty do. The extremely poor Dominicans of Haitian decent and migrant seasonal workers from Haiti need pesos. Not Mikael Ohlsson (president IKEA) and Hans Gydell (President Inter IKEA Group).

  2. #2
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    Might be a little harsh for some readers, but I think you are quite right. Now if some of their furniture were to be made here by local artisans using IKEA patterns, then we might have a better basis to like IKEA...Just like most of the hotels and chains, they take a lot and give little.

    HB

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    Might be a little harsh for some readers, but I think you are quite right. Now if some of their furniture were to be made here by local artisans using IKEA patterns, then we might have a better basis to like IKEA...Just like most of the hotels and chains, they take a lot and give little.

    HB
    This is never going to happen.

    Welcome to the reality of capitalism, adapt or die.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    Might be a little harsh for some readers, but I think you are quite right. Now if some of their furniture were to be made here by local artisans using IKEA patterns, then we might have a better basis to like IKEA...Just like most of the hotels and chains, they take a lot and give little.

    HB
    No economies of scale and efficiencies.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    This is never going to happen.

    Welcome to the reality of capitalism, adapt or die.
    Yup, that's how the world economy works...

  6. #6
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    Default Well for me

    Went through IKEA the other day, and was not that impressed. probably won't be going back. A few things I might have bought but for the majority I can find made or sold local.

    To expensive, and don't like the OSB an particle board. Just my position

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    Might be a little harsh for some readers, but I think you are quite right. Now if some of their furniture were to be made here by local artisans using IKEA patterns, then we might have a better basis to like IKEA...Just like most of the hotels and chains, they take a lot and give little.

    HB
    IKEA is one of the companies which does care about economic problems and the people around it... so to compare them to some of the hotels... is, in my opinion a cheap shot...

    Sure, they are here to make money... which seems quite logical to me... but if local producers here can prove to them they can provide their quality standards (which are low for me), at a good price... they will hire them...

    so why crucify Ikea... this is one of the better foreign investors here... in my humble opinion

  8. #8
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    I've been in three Ikea stores, two in the states and one on The Capital.

    They are all almost identical. Certainly the furniture is.

    Seems one reason for success is cost and distribution, not too dissimilar from Wal Mart. Unless some outfit can make several thousand widgets per month and deliver them to central warehousing absolutely, positively within minutes as scheduled, and do so at miniscule margins, you ain't gonna get their business. That kinda sorta leaves the DR out.

    And for the impression they are great employers, that may be true. But they are harshly criticized, as several other mega-retailers with prominent names are, as having their goods manufactured in "sweatshop" conditions.

    And here's a most interesting factoid I didn't know: they pay no corporate tax on most of their holdings. Seems their structure is a labyrinth of holding corporations, most being owned by a non-profit corporation for which there are no public records. One prominent corporation is owned by a corporation in Luxembourg, where getting corporate information is almost impossible. All that is available shows that in '04 IKEA paid a little over E19 million in taxes on overall sales of E15+billion. Not much.

    Overall, IKEA offers consumers goods bought in abundance, store employees are treated well, and they promote the heck out of the greenie-eco thingy. But behind that public appearance beats the heart of pure capitalists who strive to squeeze every nickle out of every sale at all costs, and avoid taxes using a gaggle of lawyers and accountants with structures that would make Pablo Escobar jealous.

    There are two IKEAS: one you see at the store and the one behind the curtain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny.rivero View Post
    100,000 families in the Dominican Republic rely on the countryís furniture industry for its livelihood
    I wonder where you get those numbers. Seems a little high to me.

    Ikea is a logical move in a country where when you needed furnitures you had to choose between very poorly made local stuff or highly priced imported stuff, generally made in south east Asia and imported by local dominican-arab families.

    After Ikea opening, prices went down in most furnitures sellers here (Arbaje Soni, Ilumel, Conforama, etc...), so i think it is a positive aspect.

    Local furniture makers just have to raise their quality and their design, get together, create a label, promote the hand made aspect of their product. The only quality furniture maker in the country is Von, the rest is half ass job.

  10. #10
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    Is Von still there? I looked recently and found no trace.

    There are some other good furniture makers but not on a large scale.

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