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Wilcon Depot 'not that worried' with IKEA entry, says CEO

MANILA - Wilcon Depot is "not that worried" about the entry of Swedish furniture maker IKEA in the Philippines despite some overlap in some product lines, company president and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan said Monday.

IKEA sells space-saving furniture and Scandinavian-inspired home furnishing while Wilcon Depot offers home and construction supplies and also caters to home builders and contractors with tiles, sanitary wares and even appliances among its offerings.

"We’re also pushing our hard lines and in-house brands. We’re not that worried by IKEA," Belo-Cincochan told reporters in a virtual stockholders' meeting.

Hard lines, which include tiles and sanitary wares, contribute over 50 percent of the business with furniture and homewares comprising only about 8 percent of the business, Wilcon Depot senior executive vice president and COO of Wilcon Depot Rosemarie Bosch Ong said.

"We will have some overlaps, for furniture I guess...But what we have is very much different," she said.

"And I guess our core items would really be very much different from what they offer. And yes we welcome competition," she added.

Wilcon Depot will also have an advantage on reach since it operates 66 outlets in the country. Ong said they plan to grow the network to 72 stores by the end of the year.

For 2020, net sales dropped 7.5 percent to P22.6 billion while net income fell 31.8 percent to P1.4 billion, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first quarter of 2021, net income jumped 84 percent to P604 million. 

Home furnishing demand rose during the COVID-19 pandemic as the work-from-home and study-from-home lifestyle prompted home renovations during the pandemic. 

Wilcon Depot has also started beefing up its online presence but it said it would still focus on expanding its physical store. 

IKEA, meanwhile, will open the world's largest store in Pasay City later this year. 


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