The Irish have been a major player in the craft-crafts industry for centuries, with craftsmen and women making everything from fine art to household goods, jewellery and furniture.
However, there are growing concerns over the future of the craft, with many of its products now made by multinational companies.
In the US, a growing number of craft-based businesses have been targeted by companies such as Amazon and Ikea, which have sought to expand their supply chains by importing cheaper, less-quality goods from overseas.
Ikea has taken a leading role in the manufacturing of craft goods, which it says is necessary to support its growing retail business and help the wider world.
However, in an interview with The Irish Examiner, Ikea said that it would no longer supply the products to craft stores if they were to be forced to sell their goods online.
The retailer said it would supply craft products only to stores that were certified as independent craft-makers and that if they sold online, they would not be eligible for its free shipping offer.
It also said it was considering “a range of alternative methods” of sourcing its craft goods.
“We are a small business, so we’re not going to be able to supply everything to every local craft store in the country,” said Ikea.
“It’s a very big challenge for us.
If they sell online, we’re going to lose some of our customers, and that’s not good for our business.
We need to be very strategic about what we do and what we source.”
The company has also been targeted in other countries, with a new company calling itself “Crafts International” offering products made in Ireland that are “in the best quality, and are in the best condition”.
IKEA said it had taken steps to ensure that its crafts were “in high demand”, with the number of items sold on the company’s website rising over the past year.
Its craft-related activities are supported by a small team of craftsmen, who are responsible for each craft, and each of their respective crafts is individually inspected by an independent third-party.
If a craft is found to be defective, the craftsman has to take a “reasonable care” of the product before sending it on to another retailer.
When asked about the challenges of sourcing their products from the US and elsewhere, IkeA’s chief marketing officer, Joanna O’Sullivan, said the company was focused on sourcing its products from local companies, which she said represented “the majority of craft” in Ireland.
“We’re working to help craft to have the best possible quality of life in the future, and we’re doing everything we can to help Irish craft be better,” she said.
She said the majority of Ikea’s craft-led projects were still “small, locally owned” and that many of the companies were based in Ireland and Europe, where they had been founded.
“There are a lot of challenges that are faced in Ireland,” she added.
“We’re doing what we can and we’ll continue to work hard to meet the needs of our craft.”
In a blog post, Ikeas director of craft said that the company would be looking at alternative suppliers, including a deal with a Chinese company that produces the same kinds of products in a similar fashion as Ikea does, but with a higher quality, more modern design.
But the company said it planned to continue to source its craft from its US and European customers, even if they did not want to pay for the “premium” service.
“If you want a really good craft that you can afford, and you’re a big customer, then you may want to consider an affiliate agreement,” she wrote.
Read more about craft, craft cart,craft table,craft source The Independent