Why IKEA moved opening of first Philippines store to 2021

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2020 10:24 AM | Updated as of Feb 14 2020 11:27 AM

Construction laborers work on the future store of Swedish furniture-maker IKEA in Pasay City on Oct. 22, 2019. The new opening date will be in 2021 instead of late 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - IKEA said Friday the opening of its first Philippines branch, also the biggest in the world, would be pushed back to 2021 instead of late this year due to "construction adjustments."

Located at the SM Mall of Asia Complex, IKEA Philippines is "taking great shape" but adjustments have to be made, IKEA Southeast Asia market development manager Georg Platzer told ABS-CBN News.

"Whilst the building is taking great shape on the skyline, as can be the case with mega construction projects, the timeline is adjusted and firmed up as the project moves along," Platzer said. 

"There have been changes to the schedule and the opening date will be in 2021," he added. No other details were disclosed. 

IKEA Philippines is working tirelessly to prevent "further opening changes," Platzer said. 

The 65,000 square meter store, roughly the size of 150 basketball courts, will also be the biggest tenant of the Mall of Asia, IKEA earlier said. 

Two floors of the 5-storey IKEA Philippines will be for retail with at least 9,000 products, while the rest will be devoted to its warehouse, call center and e-commerce operations, Platzer earlier said. Its website, www.IKEA.ph, is expected to cater to over 6 million Filipinos in the greater Manila area.

IKEA Southeast Asia earmarked P7 billion for the Philippine store, which would initially employ some 500 Filipinos, the operator earlier said.