IKEA has announced that its first furniture store in the Philippines will be the world’s biggest when it opens in 2020.
Once complete, the store at the SM Mall of Asia in Manila will cover 65,000 square metres — which is about the size of 150 basketball courts, the company said in a statement yesterday (Tuesday, November 20).
The company will hope to capitalise on the more than five million households within 60 minutes of the store (traffic permitting, of course).
The store will carry 9,000 product lines and it will also include a warehouse, an e-commerce facility and an integrated call centre. The store will also include a restaurant, serving its signature Swedish meatballs.
A pre-opening website has also been launched to help customers plan their grand designs, the company has said.
IKEA Southeast Asia will invest an initial seven billion pesos in the store, which will employ some 500 people directly on top of supply chain jobs and other business opportunities.
The young population of the Philippines, which has an average age of 24, drew IKEA to build its largest store in the country, said Georj Platzer, who will manage the store once it has opened.
“Also together with the developments and condominiums, residential building together with the growing middle class, it’s a fantastic future market for IKEA,” he said.
IKEA is also looking for partners in food supply, transport, waste management and security among other services, he added.
Yesterday, the IKEA team served Swedish meatballs from an electric jeep painted in its signature blue and yellow to shoppers at the SM Mall of Asia.
The new store means that IKEA will become largest tenant of the mall complex.
“The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people, so we are excited to be bringing our offer to a country where millions of people share our passion for home,” said Christian Rojkjaer, managing director IKEA Southeast Asia.
One-in-10 kids conceived on IKEA’s beds
The company already has outlets in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Founded in Sweden in 1943, the company is now the world’s largest furniture retailer. Its name is an acronym standing for the name of company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad; Elmtaryd, the farm where he grew up; and Agunnaryd, his hometown in Småland, southern Sweden.
Mr Kamprad, who died in January aged 91, was one of the 10 richest people in the world with a fortune estimated at more than $40 billion.
Currently there are 415 stores in 49 countries and it is estimated that one in 10 European babies are conceived on the company’s beds.
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