Ikea building SE Asia presence
Latest Bang Yai branch biggest in the region
Ikano Private Limited, owner of the Ikea furniture franchise in Thailand, remains committed to expanding in Southeast Asia, planning to open one store annually over the next five years.
Christian Rojkjaer, managing director for Ikea Southeast Asia, said the company will continue expanding as the middle class grows and more people look to buy new homes.
Ikano owns and operates Ikea stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Yesterday, the company officially opened its second Ikea store in Bang Yai, Nonthaburi in a 50,278-square-metre space. The outlet is the biggest store in Southeast Asia and the only one in the world that is fully integrated into a shopping centre.
Ikea Bang Yai required investment of 6.3 billion baht and is the 415th Ikea branch worldwide. The outlet is located next to CentralWest Bang Yai and employs 450 people.
"We have ambitious plans to grow in Thailand, striving to realise our vision of creating better everyday lives for people here and in Southeast Asia. Now you can come and shop at Ikea stores in eastern and western Bangkok, with outlets set to open in the northeast and southwest," said Thomas Friberg, store manager at Ikea Bang Yai.
The company also bought a 1.5 million-sq-m plot in Rangsit targeted for future development. He said western Bangkok has a fast-growing population with a high proportion of young families interested in upgrading their homes.
Located at CentralPlaza WestGate, Ikea Bang Yai is among a mix of tenants lined up by CPN.
The store also features a new layout, with entrances and checkouts at every level, intended to give customers greater mobility. The mall is also connected to the MRT Purple Line, providing customers greater transport access.
"If the concept at Ikea Bang Yai is successful, we will apply it to other Ikea outlets worldwide," he said.
To further enhance the customer experience, Ikea Bang Yai plans to launch a new feature, the Ikea Store App.
Apart from two Ikea stores in Bang Na and Bang Yai, the company also opened a 2,615 sq m pick up-and-order point (POP) store in Phuket in November 2016 for 175 million baht.
The company said the number of Ikea outlets here could grow to 10 over the next 7-10 years, both in the original and POP format.
More POP stores are expected to open in cities such as Udon Thani, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
Mr Rojkjaer said the company also plans to open a store in Penang, Malaysia next year and another one in the Philippines in 2020. The firm also wants an outlet for Vietnam.
Regionally, there are two Ikea stores in Singapore and three in Malaysia, one of which is under construction.
In Thailand, there are two big Ikea stores and one POP outlet.