Ikea Bangkok Opens next November 3

Ikea, the world’s leading furniture firm, is changing its focus from the mature markets of Europe and North America to the emerging markets of Southeast Asia and China.

“During the 10 years from 1999 to 2009 we were focusing on Europe and the US, but now they are facing economic crises. So I believe that it is time to shift to the Asean market, as has better growth potential,” said Tom Huzell, managing director of Ikano Retail Asia.

Currently there are three Ikea stores operated by Ikano, a franchisee that holds the rights to open Ikea homefurnishing stores. They are in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The store in Thailand is under construction and is due to be open next November 3, Huzell said.

Thailand’s will be the thirdlargest Ikea store in the world, with an area of 43,000 square metres, he said. The Swedish retailer’s two largest stores are in China, operated by another firm.

There are more than 300 Ikea stores in more than 37 counฌtries.

Huzell said Ikea stores annually generated 24 billion euro (Bt960 billion) globally with Ingka Holding, a franchise company that controls 93 per cent of the stores.

Ikea is considering opening stores in South Korea and Indonesia and is in the process of prefranchise agreements. When Ikea wraps up the deals with these two countries it will move on to the Philippines and Vietnam. Huzell said a deal with India is on hold.

“Within 10 years, we are looking at opening two other stores in Bangkok,” he said.

Caroline Murphy, executive vice president of SF Development, said Mega Bangna complex would be launched in 2012. It is designed to target the mediumtohighend market with a twostorey building on 254 rai (40.64 hectares) with leasable area of 180,000sqm.

She said that in the future this area would be the new Siam where everyone within 120 kilometres has to visit.


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