World’s largest Ikea store opens in Philippines
The Swedish ready-to-take furniture giant has made its first appearance in Manila, Philippines by opening its largest store in the world, with a new 730,000-square-foot facility that includes a 2-story, 270,000-square-foot store, dining area, and showroom, as well as warehouses, an e-commerce centre, and a call centre.
The opening ceremony of Ikea Pasay City was held at the store’s restaurant yesterday, and the Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin attended.
The opening coincides with Ikea’s expansion of its e-commerce business, which came in handy during the pandemic, with online orders currently accounting for 26% of total sales. The company, which already has over 460 physical stores in around 60 cities, including Bangkok, plans to open nearly 60 more sites this fiscal year, starting with their first outlets in South America, in Santiago, Chile.
According to store manager Platzer, the Philippines had “been the perfect position on our map for the longest period”.
“Coming to the Philippines was always a plan. It’s a great time to be a home furnishing retailer because the economy, middle class, and household environment are all rising. I believe it’s the right time.”
It was supposed to open in 2020, but it was pushed back owing to Covid-19 measurements and a shortage of construction materials. It’s part of a strategy to expand in Asia, with the brand’s second outlet recently opening in India.
Despite the pandemic-related logistics bottlenecks and raw material price hikes, Ikea expects a more difficult year in 2022. Despite a supply shortage and difficulties keeping stores and warehouses stocked, the company achieved record revenues last year.
SOURCE: The Straits Times
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