It Ain’t Easy Being Arctic


Goods shipped to Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, commonly cost astronomically more than items sold farther south, for obvious reasons. But a recent charge estimate from Ikea blew any previous shipping fees out of the water.

The online retailer told Iqaluit resident Jordan Grenke that his new sofa would cost $1 billion to deliver, the Toronto Star reported recently.

Even in a place where orange juice can cost $14 and a turkey $200, this was extreme. The loveseat in question only cost $399. Grenke, a postmaster, knows from shipping fees. Indeed, he told the Star, “I thought it was Swedish humor.”

Ikea spokeswoman Madeleine Frick called it “an error,” and the retailer corrected the glitch. “I assure you that’s not the correct shipping cost to Nunavut.”

But before Grenke went to the media and the furniture maker, he tried ordering a lamp, a lightbulb and a pack of batteries, according to the Star. But all would have cost $1 billion under Ikea’s initial estimate. No word on whether they could have been combined into one package to save a couple of billion.

Frick told the Star that Ikea has filled 16 orders since July 2009 and that the actual cost of delivering Grenke’s loveseat would be about $5,500.