The Philippines have “been the right spot on our map for the longest time”, Head of IKEA Philippines Georg Platzer said last week as the Swedish furniture giant officially opened its first store in the country, Straits Times writes.
The opening ceremony on 25 November was held at the store’s cafeteria and attended by DTI Secretary Lopez, DFA Secretary Locsin, Pasay City Mayor Calixto-Rubiano, Swedish Ambassador Annika Thunborg, Head of IKEA Philippines Georg Platzer, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, and members of the Sy family.
“It was always a plan to come to the Philippines,” Georg Platzer said. “It’s a very good growing economy, growing middle class and domestic environment that’s good for us as a home furnishing retailer. I think it’s about time to open it, finally.”
The Embassy of Sweden in Manila writes that Ambassador Annika Thunborg shared some IKEA history during the opening ceremony. “The idea of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad in the 1940s was to offer furniture of good quality and good design to all Swedes regardless of their socioeconomic level. It was an illustration of the Swedish values of equality and inclusivity” she said.
“IKEA continues to be a symbol of contemporary Sweden, a sustainable company. IKEA doesn’t only bring hundreds of new jobs, it also brings good labor conditions, permanent contracts for its employees, gender equality, and respect for labor rights — what we call social sustainability.
Another value that comes with IKEA is economic sustainability, the absence of corruption, and the promotion of transparent business practices. Lastly, IKEA brings environmental sustainability by having its own recycling program, segregating its wastes and using recycled materials, certified wood, practicing zero food waste, and more, creating a circular economy of its own. We hope that more industries take after IKEA in this regard,” Ambassador Thunborg said.
Because of covid-19, the Swedish furniture giant is sticking with strict protocols and visitors have to book entrance through an online booking system. Georg Platzer said it’s already fully booked for the next two weeks and that visitors will have to wear masks while in the store.