Bloomberg: Ikea lovers find middlemen on web as retailers shun Ukraine
Unsanctioned Ukrainian resellers pass on goods from Poland as foreign retailers hold back on investments
In a crumbling Soviet-era apartment building in Kiev, up a rattling graffiti-scarred elevator, Anastasia Chumak has created an oasis of comfort furnished by Ikea.
The catch: there is no Ikea outlet in Ukraine. So Chumak turned to a local web-based entrepreneur, who takes orders from Ukrainians, buys the goods from an Ikea store in Poland and trucks them back for delivery. After two years of equipping her flat with kitchen gadgets, a beige Ektorp sofa and colorful Swedish bedding, Chumak also uses such unsanctioned internet resalers to buy other goods not available in the war-rattled nation.
“Whatever you need, it’s easier to order and have it delivered from Poland than look for things in Kiev,” said Chumak, a 27-year-old quality assurance manager.
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