Opening soon? Reasons why we’re excited with the first Ikea in the Philippines

Published May 19, 2021, 3:23 PM

by Johannes Chua

I passed by early May in the Mall of Asia area and found myself just gawking and taking photos of the façade of the Ikea’s first branch in the Philippines.  Construction work was still ongoing and there were so many workers all over the site in hard hats and uniforms. Last we heard, opening will be around third to fourth quarter of this year.

All facade photos by Johannes L. Chua

Why are we excited about the soon-to-open Ikea? Amid criticisms from some that Ikea may unfairly compete with local furniture manufacturers, early reports have indicated that the brand is reaching out to local artisans, starting out with Rags2Riches for its textile products. Soon, I hope there would be more as Ikea studies the Philippine market and caters to the taste of Filipino homeowners.  So, again, why do we look forward to Ikea’s opening?

1. It is the literally the biggest among them all

Type in Google: “Biggest Ikea in the world” and you now know that the Philippines will soon be the site of the biggest Ikea of them all. Early information says that the two-level store is just part of a total of 65,000 square meters of space, or roughly around 150 basketball courts.  The five-story building also includes spaces for storage, dining, playroom, etc.

2. More space means more products

With that much amount of space, at least 9,000 products will be showcased once Ikea Philippines opens. What’s nice with Ikea stores are the showcase settings, inspiring buyers to imagine for themselves how Ikea products would look like in their own homes. 

Whether you are finding a product, a furniture piece, a design accessory for the master’s bedroom, kids’ room, corporate office, meeting corner, WFH space, or even an outdoor barbecue area, there is a big chance that what you are looking for is available in Ikea.  

3. It is accessible and ideally located

It is in the Mall of Asia complex, so it is centrally located in a way, accessible to both those from the north and south of Metro Manila. I saw some bridges being constructed to connect Ikea to the mall and to the SMX Convention Center so it means that you can go malling or dining after your Ikea rush.  It would also benefit from the thousands of available parking slots around the MOA complex.

4. It is more than home

For some people, Ikea is not only a place to buy home stuff, it is a lifestyle. With the Philippines finally having its own Ikea, we could now relate to Ikea’s quirky worldwide campaigns and marketing promotions.  This early, Ikea Philippines has been “studying” the Filipino consumer, highlighting on its website videos of our lifestyles, which includes living with kids and extended families. The brand also charmingly spotlights the Pinoys’ penchant for DIY furniture and how the brand’s pieces can fit in small homes and condo units. 

And did I say meatballs? Pre-pandemic, at least two million balls are eaten each day in all of Ikea’s stores worldwide. That number would soon rise once the Philippine store is open.  Filipinos would now finally know why the world has gone crazy with these meatballs, the quintessential Swedish food that Ikea’s founder Ingvar Kamprad said would “nourish the customers as no one could shop well with an empty stomach!”   A full-service restaurant would also offer other items such as hotdogs, potato gratins, etc. How much would these costs here? We would soon find out. 

A selection of Ikea’s meatballs (From Ikea.com)

5. Be ready with promos galore

There is still no news regarding promos, membership cards, or discount stuff from Ikea Philippines but judging from the brand’s news from all over the world, Ikea has provided consumers with various discounts if they join any membership deals. There are also regular and holiday sales plus I read somewhere that consumers can eat the meatballs for free (there is a minimum purchase), while kids eat free in some selected Ikea outlets.   We still don’t know if these promos would be available in Ikea Philippines, but it would not hurt to apply for a membership card ASAP once it opens.

6. A big boon for Filipino workers  

The brand announced that it is now in the process of hiring 500 workers for various positions. This is a welcome development as Filipino talent would remain in our country with the opportunities provided by Ikea Philippines. 

7. Finally, we can purchase all those bulky items

When travel was “normal,” my visit to a new place is not complete without dropping by an Ikea outlet. I have visited Ikea’s branches in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Paris.  Most of the time, I would be enamored with a certain product and desperately wanted to buy it only to be hindered by two words: Excess baggage. So most of the time, I would just buy the smaller items – picture frames, cutlery, mini racks, and knickknacks for gifting and pasalubong.

With an Ikea branch finally here in our soil, we could all rejoice for finally being able to purchase those bulky items with ease such as cabinets, bed frames, chairs, desks, etc. We would be able to achieve our Ikea dream home and feel like we’re living in one of those classy catalogs printed by the brand.

So, see you soon at the aisles of Ikea! It is not too early to shop and complete your Christmas gift list.

 
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