Feelings are mixed as The Plain Dealer’s Michelle Jarboe McFee announced this morning that the media company is looking to possibly sell 16 acres of land in the suburb of Brooklyn to Ikea. The beloved international furniture giant might finally be breaking ground in NEO, but what does that mean for the community?
Local stores that I reached out to for comment all sounded unnerved and positive. A representative from Surroundings Home Decor, a high end furniture store in Downtown Cleveland, echoed her peers when she stated “Ikea will not be a competitor to us. Our products are in a higher price range as we carry higher quality goods.”
If Ikea does decide to move in, they will certainly be able to provide a wider selection and a cheaper price than the local vendors in Cleveland, but is that what customers of local shops are looking for? Shopping local is important to Clevelanders, and many are willing to pay a higher price for well made wares. Simply look at the huge booms with markets like The Cleveland Flea, Manly Mart and the Cleveland Bazaar.
While Ikea may look big and scary to the future passersby on the 480, I doubt shop owners will be shaking in their boots. The only real budgets that will suffer will be the pockets of other major cheap chains like Walmart and Target. What we have to do as Clevelanders, is make sure we keep the local pride going. Keep it local when you can, but don’t lose sleep on the outsourced competition.