Ikea Philippines postpones giant-store opening to 2021
MANILA, NNA – Ikea has postponed the opening of its largest store in the world in the Philippines to 2021 due to construction adjustments.
The Swedish home furnishing retailer had announced in November 2018 that it would open the 68,500-square-meter store in SM Mall of Asia Complex in greater Manila in 2020.
Ikea Southeast Asia development manager Georg Platzer told NNA in a phone interview that construction would continue with the necessary standard adjustments and gave the assurance that Ikea has made "great progress with the fantastic building" which should be ready in 2021 instead.
The building of the store began in June 2018. Since it is located within a big shopping mall complex in the middle of highly urbanized Pasay City, south of the capital, the construction was more complicated than they had previously thought, he said, adding that it now has to take into account the heavy traffic in the area.
The Mall of Asia is located near the Bay Area, a bustling business hub where many Chinese offshore gaming firms, and business process outsourcing companies operate.
Ikea Southeast Asia had partnered with Philippine retail giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. to build the massive store which will be as large as 150 basketball courts put together or nearly double the size of a typical big blue-box Ikea store.
Platzer said the store will offer 9,500 furniture items, which will mostly be imported except for green plants, meat and dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables which will be sourced from local farms.
The store, which will also have e-commerce operations, will operate a restaurant too.
The global furniture giant decided to open its biggest store in the Philippines after noting that the country’s consumption-driven economy and remittances from overseas Filipino workers have continued to see steady growths.
“There is big need for home furnishing. You see a lot of developments when it comes to residential buildings here. We also know that we have a very good culture of oversea Filipino workers who like to invest in homes like buying condominiums, which of course, would need home furnishing,” Platzer said.
Property consultant Colliers International said in 2019 alone, 11,200 condominium units were completed in Metro Manila with condo stocks standing at 130,090 units. Colliers predicts the number to rise close to 158,300 by the end of 2022.
It also sees the Bay Area as supplying the most residential units by the end of this year due to fast completion of new units by property developers. This aggressive building is driven by strong housing demand from business process outsourcing companies, and Chinese offshore gaming firms.