The difference between Czech and German prices in the year-on-year comparison was most obviously reflected in kitchen furniture and appliances. Last year, when purchasing in this category, Czechs paid an average of 13.3 percent more than German customers, while this year, on the other hand, the purchase of a kitchen will be 14.6 percent cheaper, a year-on-year difference of 28 percentage points. The same also applies to home electronics, where the year-on-year price variance is only a percentage point lower.
The e15 editors compared 17,670 products that are sold in the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland. Changes in prices caused movements in both directions: the Czech Ikea reduced prices by 9.5 percent year-on-year, while in Germany it increased by 8.8 percent and in Poland by 2.2 percent. In the Czech Republic, smart home products fell the most, by 17.4 percent compared to last year, more than a ten percent price reduction was seen in home electronics, kitchen furniture and appliances, storage parts and organizers, or lighting.
The only category in which domestic prices have increased year-on-year is food and beverages, for which Czechs will now pay 5.5 percent more. However, it is also true here that compared to last year, prices have increased much less than in the case of the neighbors.
Polish Ikea is still the cheapest
“Ikea does not set prices globally, but locally in individual markets, so prices in different countries can vary,” explains Myrian Ruffo, Ikea’s sales manager for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. “Many local factors are reflected in prices. The price reduction of more than half of our assortment on the Czech market occurred in September and October in connection with the beginning of our new financial year, when we deal with pricing every year.”
The Czech Ikea discounted a third of its goods by an average of 8.4 percent. Among the reasons that made this possible, she named “the stabilization of supply chains after the pandemic, the favorable development of the exchange rate of the Czech crown and the reduction of operating costs.”
Despite the drop in prices, it is still possible to find products in Ikea whose price tags show really big differences in the monitored countries and for which the Czech customer will still pay the most even after the discount. For example, the leather model of the Kivik four-seater sofa was sold in the Czech Republic for 56,000 last year, this year it is 45,000. So the price was reduced by 11,000 crowns, but this particular piece of furniture is still 3,000 more expensive than in Germany, and even 9,000 more than in Poland.
Currently, the biggest difference between Germany and the Czech Republic is in favor of the domestic branches in the prices of the kitchen and tableware category. Czechs buy them 15.2 percent cheaper. At the other end of the comparison is bathroom furniture, the price of which is 10.5 percent higher in the Czech Republic than in Germany. Of the twenty categories, six are cheaper in Germany, the remaining fourteen work out better for Czech customers. The situation is different with Polish customers, they pay less than Czechs in eleven out of twenty categories, and as a result, the local Ikea is four percent cheaper than the Czech one.
They don’t buy, so we lower the prices
In autumn 2022, Ikea increased prices by tens of percent. The rise in prices, justified by the consequences of the pandemic and Russian aggression in Ukraine, also affected the Czech market. Similarly, other merchants also raised prices. “It can be speculated that they were not sure how sharply their own costs would rise, and therefore tried to preemptively raise prices to cover them,” thinks the chief economist of Cyrrus Vít Hradil. According to him, customers first resigned for a certain period and accepted higher prices.
However, the rising prices of energy, food and inflation have manifested themselves in increasing caution when purchasing goods and services that can be expected to wait. “Since the beginning of the calendar year, we have observed that due to the economic situation, customers are taking longer and more to consider larger investments, such as kitchen units,” said sales manager Myrian Ruffo, mentioning the category in which prices have fallen the most year-on-year, confirming that one of the reasons, why the Ikea chain reduced prices in the Czech Republic was also weak customer interest.
When, on the other hand, is it not worthwhile to go to Germany or Poland when shopping? Take a look at the following infographics, which compare the Czech prices of tables, sofas, beds or office chairs first with German and then with Polish prices.