MANILA - The construction of the Philippine outlet of Swedish furniture-maker IKEA is "going according to plan" despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the company's officials said Tuesday.
IKEA PH, set to become the world's largest, will open in the third or fourth quarter of the year with its e-commerce site launching ahead of physical branch's opening, IKEA's Southeast Asia development manager Georg Platzer told reporters during a virtual media briefing.
"Everything is going according to plan. We have a plan of opening on Q3 or Q4 this year, starting first with e-commerce and then opening the store later. So we are progressing, it looks good... the situation is very fluid," said Platzer, who will manage the store.
"We meet everyday to discuss the pandemic, new developments and we’ll never know now. For now, we cannot communicate an official date but it's Q3 or Q4 2021 to start our operations," he added.
The company earlier said it would hire close to 500 workers for the branch. It also engaged Philippine firm Rags2Riches for its custom-made textile products.
The world's largest IKEA branch, located at the Mall of Asia Complex, will be 65,000-square meters, or big or enough to fit 150 basketball courts, officials earlier said.
Two of IKEA Philippines' 5 floors will be for brick and mortar retail. The rest will be allocated for a warehouse and a call center that will handle the e-commerce side of the business, Platzer said.