Prices for antiques are now at their lowest in relative terms since the 1930s and it’s all Ikea’s fault according to many articles circulating in the media. So are things really as bad as they are saying?
Ikea certainly seems to have gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt it has staying power. Ikea’s strength lies in its amazing ability to provide cheap, affordable (and often stylish) furniture for a fraction of the price of its competitors.
Comparing Ikea’s offerings to antique furniture of real quality, however, is hardly fair. People are more likely to purchase antique furniture if they are looking for something different from the mainstream. There will also be a certain nostalgia for the past involved.
Buying from Ikea satisfies a far different need, which is to find furniture to serve a purpose rather than be admired for years to come.
If the price of antiques has plummeted it is more likely to be a case of fashions changing than Ikea furniture taking over. A report recently revealed that shows such as the Antiques Roadshow have actually led to a backlash against antiques.
People wrongly view all antique furniture as too expensive when increasingly the opposite is the case. If Ikea is having any impact at all, the competition is making antique furniture more accessible to the masses.