World’s largest Ikea to open in Manila

MANILA • The world’s largest Ikea store will open in 2020 in the Philippines as the Swedish furniture retailer presses on its bets in Asia.

Ikea will debut a 65,000 sq m (700,000 sq ft) store in SM Prime Holdings Inc’s Mall of Asia where it’s leasing a space that’s equal to more than 150 basketball courts, Ikea South-East Asia MD Christian Rojkjaer said at the launch of the Philippine website yesterday. A typical Ikea big blue-box is about 35,000 sq m.

Ikea will spend an initial seven billion pesos (RM561.46 million) to build, stock and staff the store, which will carry 9,000 products, Rojkjaer said. The Manila complex will have a two-level shop, a warehouse, an e-commerce facility and a call centre that will serve more than five million households within a 60-minute radius. The company will employ 500 staff.

The Philippines, where the growing middle class is forecast to spend more than Italy’s by 2030, has a population of more than 105 million people dominated by a working-age demographic. The economy has expanded above 6% for 13 straight quarters, fuelled by private consumption which makes up the bulk of GDP.

The world’s largest furniture retailer is expanding rapidly in Asia. It debuted the first of 25 stores in India in August. Last week, it said it will open the first city-centre store in Tokyo in 2020 near one of its busiest metro stations. — Bloomberg