The stage was ready, a temporary announcement was made and the Foreign Minister was already claiming the merit. Announcements of the latest news have been sent by the main media and liveblogs ready to convey to the people the vision of Ikea for New Zealand. Even the Swedish ambassador, Par Ahlberger, told those present that he was an ambassador for Ikea, according to Stuff.
But on Friday, when the tension reached the level of fever, reality collapsed like a set of poorly assembled drawers. The vision was more of a back-of-envelope sketch showing that Auckland would have a store and a point within a few years, plus there would be another, smaller, in the South Island.
The company's global CEO, Jesper Brodin, and Ahlberger revealed the few details at a press conference in an Ikea-style drawing room.
But with displeasure by New Zealand furniture fans, the assembled team only confirmed that a pop-up shop in Auckland would arrive first, followed by a full-size store that needed to be built from scratch, followed by a South Island store in some point in the future.
On the upside, 400 new jobs will be created when Ikea eventually arrives, and the furniture giant will offer affordable options for New Zealanders who pay a lot more for everyday goods, including basic home furnishings.
"Such an excellent start in 2019 when we commemorate 250 years of friendship between Sweden and the Pacific region," said Ahlberger in his development.
Will Edwards, the manager of Ikea in New Zealand, said that the company will move "quickly and as quickly as possible" to bring flat pack containers into the country.
"We would like to give a piece of Ikea before the full meal arrives," said Edwards, perhaps with his mind lingering over his famous meatball offer. "This is the least that the people of New Zealand can get after waiting all this time."
While news bulletins scanned the news and #Ikea did tremendous business on Twitter, some felt disappointed.
The New Zealand Herald dubbed the "Ikea anti-climax" event, and conducted a survey on his website asking "Have you been disappointed by the Ikea news today?" To which 75% of respondents answered "yes".
Justin Flitter, who runs the Ikea New Zealand Facebook page and participated in the launch, said some fans were disappointed by the lack of specific details announced, but said that Ikea's expansion was still "a big deal "for the New Zealanders.
"We had live video broadcasts and dozens of journalists at the launch event … They were warming up the latest news in nz over the past two weeks," Flitter said.
Previously, Brodin called the "irresistible" New Zealand market, after devoted fans have been busy for almost a decade.
"The dream we have is to reach everyone in New Zealand," said Brodin when interviewed by a super-fan who ran a fan page Ikea New Zealand for nine years. The wait continues.