The Swedish Ambassador has suggested that furniture and homeware giant IKEA could finally be coming to the Philippines.
Speaking at an event marking 70 years of diplomatic relations between the countries, Harald Fries said: “When IKEA comes to the Philippines, there will be great opportunities for Filipinos to find work and there would be investment in putting up stores.
“I won’t be surprised that once they have set their camp here, they’ll be looking for local manufacturing. I think that would be wonderful and interesting for the Philippines.”
No details about the location of any new store or timetable for completion have yet been revealed.
The global brand currently has stores in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.
For the time being, Filipino consumers can buy the firm’s products via lazada.com.ph.
The possibility of the iconic blue and yellow stores arriving in the Philippines — along with their trademark meatballs — was first raised last summer. However the ambassador’s words this week are the first signal that progress is being made.
Founded in Sweden in 1943, IKEA 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 is now one of the 10 richest people in the world with a fortune estimated at more than $40 billion.
Statistically, it is believed that one in 10 European babies are conceived on IKEA beds.