Winnipeg is just weeks away from having its very own IKEA location. The Swedish furniture giant is expected to open its doors in Winnipeg on Nov. 28.

The retailer is expecting long lines of customers on opening day – something that’s got local furniture retailers bracing themselves for a possible dip in business.

Local furniture retailer EQ3 isn’t standing idly by. They’ve launched a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign that takes aim at IKEA.

“We are acknowledging that yes, IKEA is coming to Winnipeg,” said Allison Forzley of EQ3. “(EQ3 is) reminding people we exist and kind of reminding people the differences between EQ3 and IKEA.”

The series of ads are set to launch on 50 buses across the city Monday and point out key differences between the furniture available at EQ3 versus IKEA.

“Every pillow, every chair that is upholstered is made in Winnipeg,” said Forzley.

The ads also mention that EQ3’s furniture does not require assembly and pokes fun at IKEA’s flat-boxed furniture that usually needs the help of an Allen key to assemble.

IKEA officials said the ads are welcomed competition.

“I think it’s great. It’s healthy competition. It stimulates the interest in home furnishing,” said Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick, the public relations manager for IKEA Canada. “Flat packing is at the root of our concept and is accepted by our customers as a benefit.”

Other furniture retailers said they’re looking forward to IKEA’s entry into the marketplace.

Dane Kofed owns Hut K, a high-end furniture retailer.

“The quality at IKEA or some of these other places won’t be inspiring in the long run for people,” said Kofed. “I have confidence they will come gravitating towards better-designed products.”

Brand expert Barrett Peitsch said he doesn’t think all retailers will weather the IKEA storm so well.

“I think there will be some casualties,” said Peitsch, who works with Fusion Group in Winnipeg. “I think there will be people who step up to the game… And I think we’ll see some people who will close their doors as well.”

Forzley said EQ3 is one of those companies that will thrive. Forzley pointed out that the retailer has co-existed with IKEA in other cities and done quite well. She said the company intends to do the same at home in Winnipeg.

“We’re excited that people will be more exposed to modern design and modern furniture,” said Forzley. “We think it will be good for us in the long run.”