Ikea to Add $300 Million Investment in China

Ikea will add $300 million to the $1.2 billion the mall developer it part owns plans to spend in China as the world’s largest home-furnishings retailer taps rising consumption in the world’s most populous nation.

Inter Ikea Centre Group, which builds shopping centers, today said it will open its third China mall in Wuhan, Hubei province. China Managing Director Ding Hui said Ikea will add $300 million to the funds budgeted for building malls in the Asian nation.

Retail sales in China rose 18 percent in the first eight months of 2010 from a year earlier as the fastest growth among major economies spurred spending. Ikea is expanding in China as the nation seeks to boost domestic consumption after households accumulated $16.5 trillion of assets.

The Swedish furnishings retailer said it aims to more than double the number of stores in China to 18 by 2015, from 8 now. “They are combinations of standalones and shopping centers,” Gillian Drakeford, Ikea China retail manager, said in an interview today. The company’s eight stores in China will draw 27.3 million visitors this year, Drakeford forecast.

Inter Ikea plans to invest as much as $1.2 billion in China over the next five years, managing director John Tegner said in November. The company’s Beijing mall, with 200,000 square meters (2.2 million square feet) of retail space, is scheduled to open in 2014, Ding said at the time.

The company started building its first shopping center in China in the eastern city of Wuxi in July 2008.

Inter Ikea Centre is 49 percent-owned by Ikea Group with the rest held by Inter Ikea Group.


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