- Trees will cost £25 but come with a £20 voucher for another purchase
- Offer is similar to one last year and is expected to cause long queues
- Blow to British growers as Nordmann Firs are imported from Denmark
01:44 EST, 10 December 2013
04:02 EST, 10 December 2013
A Christmas price war has been triggered by IKEA which is offering six foot trees for just £25, which come with a £20 money-off voucher.
The deal, which effectively brings the price down to £5 a tree, threatens to snatch a huge amount of trade from garden centres, which typically charge £40 to £50.
It will also be a big blow to British growers, who yesterday delivered the traditional Christmas tree to Downing Street for the festive season.
Tumbling price: IKEA is offering Christmas trees for just £25 together with a £20 money-off voucher
Blow: The imported Fir trees could cripple British growers, who provided Downing Street’s tree yesterday
IKEA is offering thousands of the Nordmann Fir trees from Denmark, plus some from Scotland, for the loss-leader promotion, which is designed to drum up trade both before Christmas and in in its New Year sale.
The deal is expected to generate long queues in the car parks at IKEA stores, which are already difficult to get to and through at the best of times.
The decision could also turn around a fall in demand for real trees in recent years, with people switching to increasingly lifelike artificial versions or arty options, such as the popular designer paper tree from John Lewis.
Research for the Swedish retailer suggests British families spend a staggering £150 million a year on real Christmas trees.
It found that the average price for a six foot tree with non-drop needles is £48. However, families in some parts of the country are paying as much as £79.99.
Decline: Prices has risen as fewer buyers visit country estates and small-scale growers to pick up trees
It said the city with the highest average price was Southampton at £60, ahead of Birmingham at £56, Warrington at £54, and both London and Thurrock at £52.
The cheapest average was Leeds at £40, ahead of Nottingham at £41, Manchester at £43, Cardiff at £44 and Glasgow at £44.
Historically, IKEA allowed outside companies to sell their own trees in the car parks of its stores.
However, the chain first began offering its own cheap trees last year with the result it ended up with a glut and found it necessary to virtually give them away.
In the final days before Christmas it was selling £25 trees for £7.50 and offering customers a £20 voucher. If the customer used the voucher, they were effectively getting a free IKEA tree and £12.50 to spend.
Birgit Hartelius, the deputy country sales manager for IKEA in the UK and Ireland, said: ‘There’s something really special about having a real tree in the home during the festive season, but over the years we’ve seen prices rocket to a level that a lot of people just can’t afford.’
The Christmas tree offer is not valid at certain IKEA stores in Bristol, Wales, and Croydon, while the £20 voucher has to be used between January 20 and Feb 9.