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World's largest Ikea to open in the Philippines

Swedish furniture maker to enter country with 65,000-sq.-meter outlet

Ikea's store in Singapore. The planned Philippine store is set to open by 2020. (Photo courtesy of Ikea)

MANILA -- Swedish home furnishing juggernaut Ikea said on Tuesday it will spend 7 billion pesos ($133 million) to open its largest store and first in the Philippines.

Under the plans, unveiled on Tuesday, Ikea Southeast Asia, the franchisee, will make the initial investment to build up an inventory of 9,000 types of products and to set up operations.

The 65,000-sq.-meter emporium is to open by 2020. It will include a large warehouse, e-commerce facility and integrated call center, Ikea said. Ikea will lease the store from developer SM Prime Holdings, which will build the outlet in the Mall of Asia Complex, near Manila Bay.

Ikea is opening the store in a Greater Manila that is bursting with 5 million households, many of which are buying condominiums thanks to an economic boom and rising incomes.

Shares of local home furnishing retailers fell on the news of Ikea's plan. At the noon trading break, Robinsons Retail Holdings's stock was down 2.2% while that of Wilcon Depot had dropped 0.8%. Manila's benchmark index was marginally up.

Ikea had 422 stores in over 50 countries as of the end of August, when the retailer closes its fiscal year. It attracted 957 million shoppers and generated $43.9 billion sales during the 12 months.

The chain is deepening its presence in Asia. Early this year, it opened the first of 25 planned stores in India. Last week, it announced its first city-center store in Japan, in Tokyo. It is also considering a move into Vietnam.

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