After much hype and anticipation, IKEA has finally opened its first-ever store in the Philippines!

The new branch, which officially welcomed customers on Thursday (November 25), is located in Pasay City. 

It is the biggest brick-and-mortar outlet that the Swedish furniture manufacturer opened in the world, occupying a total of 65,000 square meters. Inside, it hosts retail operations, a restaurant, a market hall, a warehouse, and a call center for its e-commerce wing.

The store’s construction officially started in 2018 and was wrapped up in 2020. It was supposed to open the same year, however, the pandemic delayed its launch. 

“After several years of preparation, we are ready now to live our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people of the Philippines,” Store manager Georg Platzer said during the opening ceremony. 

“Our vision also includes enabling sustainable and affordable life at home,” he added. 

Due to COVID-19 still being present in the country, IKEA Pasay City has put up a ‘no booking, no shopping policy.’ Shoppers will have to book a slot before they can enter and buy. 

Customers are also expected to follow mandatory safety rules, which include the wearing of face masks. The store will also keep the number of people inside its 5-story store at only half of its capacity. 

Over 600 Filipino workers were directly hired by IKEA for the store and 1,000 more job opportunities were created with the store starting operations, specifically for security and logistics. 

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Image credit: IKEA Philippines