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Ikea launches 'furr-niture' for pets in national stores, designed in Spain
SWEDISH furniture giant Ikea is about to launch its range of pet furniture in stores in Spain, created by an animal-loving interior designer based in Valencia.
Inma Bermúdez, who says she has lots of pets at home, is the brains behind the Spanish lines of the Lurvig collection – which means 'furry' or 'fluffy' in Swedish – and which will go on sale in stores across the country from October 5.
For cats, a tented 'tube' with a pom-pom on a string to run through, scratching poles – to save humans' furniture from destruction – a 'cabinet' for cats to get inside, which looks just like a 'human' display unit and blends in well with the rest of the décor, a comfy canvas vet-carrier box with netting so the cat can see out – also suitable for a small dog, and a 'honeycomb' open drawer unit which doubles up as a display case but allows cats to pop in and out of their own round holes.
For both dogs and cats, sofa covers, sofa-style beds, squeezy balls and curry-comb type brushes for long-haired or moulting pets are included.
Prices for 'furr-niture' items start at as little as €5 – even for the display case – ranging up to €7 for the 'tube', just under €13 for the throws and beds, to a maximum of €35.
Four in every 10 homes in Spain has at least one pet, and large numbers of animals are not considered strange at all – particularly given that the vast majority of houses and flats in Spain have tiled floors and no fitted carpets, meaning they are easier to clean and moulting fur can be swept up and vomit, spillages or toilet accidents mopped up.
In fact, the pet population – mostly cats and dogs, but also including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and iguanas – is nearly 50% that of the human headcount, with an estimated 20 million living in homes in Spain, according to the Madrid Association for Pet Vets.
Spaniards consider their pets to be very much one of the family, and over three-quarters interviewed said they would really like flexible working hours to spend time with their animals and 'parental leave' for when they are sick or for routine vet appointments.
Ikea stores are still not widespread in Spain, but home deliveries can cost as little as €5.
In Andalucía, Ikea branches can be found in Jerez de la Frontera and Algeciras (Cádiz province), Málaga and Sevilla and, whilst more concentrated in the Barcelona province and Greater Madrid regions, also have at least one shop in every region.
On the east coast, south of Barcelona, only Valencia and Murcia cities have physical stores, but Ikea has started opening 'design centres' elsewhere in the provinces, where customers visit a studio, view catalogues, get interior décor advice if needed, see a small selection of the items, and place orders for collection.
These have been set up in Benidorm, Torrevieja and Ondara (Alicante province), Algeciras and Sevilla, and in Gijón (Asturias).
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