IKEA building world's largest store in Philippines, sets 2020 opening

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2018 11:00 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2018 02:01 PM

A jeepney painted in IKEA's signature blue and yellow colors is displayed at the SM Mall of Asia where the Swedish furniture giant plans to build its biggest store in the world. Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Furniture maker IKEA said Tuesday it would open its first store in the Philippines, envisioned to be the world's largest, in 2020.

Once complete, the IKEA store at the SM Mall of Asia will occupy 65,000 square meters, roughly the size of 150 basketball courts, the company said in a statement. It will target more than 5 million households within 60 minutes distance.

The store will carry 9,000 products and it will also include a warehouse, an e-commerce facility and an integrated call center, IKEA said. A pre-opening website www.IKEA.ph was also launched for design inspiration, it said.

IKEA Southeast Asia will invest an initial P7 billion for the store, which will employ some 500 Filipinos on top of spin off jobs and other business opportunities, the company said.

The Philippines' young population, with an average age of 24, drew IKEA to build its largest store in the country, said Georj Platzer, who will manage the facility once it's finished.

"Also together with the developments and condominiums, residential building together with the growing middle class, it's a fantastic future market for IKEA," he said.

IKEA is also looking for partners in food supply, transport, waste management and security among other services, it said.

On Tuesday, the IKEA team served Swedish meatballs from an electric jeep painted in its signature blue and yellow colors to mall-goers at the SM Mall of Asia.

IKEA will also be the largest tenant in the Mall of Asia complex.

"The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people, so we are excited to be bringing our offer to a country where millions of people share our passion for home," said Christian Rojkjaer, managing director IKEA Southeast Asia which owns stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.