Canadian furniture retailer EQ3 is appealing to patriotism in an advertising campaign aimed at Ikea, which is opening a new store in Winnipeg on Nov. 28.
Manitoba-based EQ3 has bought advertising space on 50 Winnipeg buses. The campaign starts Nov. 19.
The ads poke fun at the fact consumers would have to assemble furniture purchased from the European furniture giant.
The EQ3 ads also promote the fact that their products are made in Canada. Some say "no assembly required," while others say "lifetime warranty."
"Because there was so much buzz about [the Ikea arrival] … we have to remind people that we are still here," said Peter Tielmann, EQ3's chief executive officer.
An Ikea spokesperson told CBC News it's "fantastic" that EQ3 is launching its advertising campaign because it's stimulating consumer interest in home furnishings.
According to Ikea, 20,000 people are expected to shop at the new Winnipeg store on opening day.
Ikea says it plans to have Winnipeg police directing traffic and a fire truck present. It has also hired security company to monitor crowds, parking lots and control any line ups.
The Winnipeg store and warehouse will be the largest of all the Ikea stores in Canada.
"I do think that the entry of Ikea here sends a lot of signals, increases the pressure of the competitive landscape," said Fang Wan, a branding expert at the Asper School of Business.
However, she said the competitive arrival of Ikea could also prompt local furniture makers to ramp up their production and marketing.