Media relations: What The Papers Say - Edmonton fiasco dents Ikea image

An undercurrent of hostility in reporting of the disastrous opening of Ikea's store in Edmonton, north London, may sound warning bells for the Swedish retailer.

The consumer experience was singled out for particular criticism: 'Ikea treats its customers so badly, a riot is the least it might have expected' wrote The Guardian (10 February), cataloguing a lack of online ordering, insufficient stock, and lengthy queues. Others accused it of irresponsibly stimulating demand with heavy advertising and special offers in a deprived area: 'Does it pay to advertise?' (The Times, 10 February).

Moreover, the Ikea brand was linked with 'chavdom', surely unhelpful to its image: 'Ikea Chavalanche' screamed the Daily Star (10 February), while the Daily Telegraph snootily referred to 'the chav fest on Thursday night' (12 February).

Yet, with almost twice as many people visiting Ikea as attending church on a Sunday, and buoyant profits, many commentators took the view that consumerism, not Ikea, was to blame for the Battle of Edmonton.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk.

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