Hello, IKEA Philippines!
The world’s biggest IKEA store is finally open at the SM Mall of Asia Complex! Three years after its announcement, the Swedish home furnishing megastore is ready to welcome shoppers at its four-storey complex. Worth P7 billion ($133 million), IKEA Philippines drew an estimated 1,000 eager shoppers (according to a member of the security team) on opening day on Thursday, 24 November.
The venture is a partnership with SM Prime Holdings Inc. and occupies a massive space of 65,000 sqm, roughly the size of 150 basketball courts.
Shoppers have to be fully vaccinated and need to register before entering the shopping area. As the festive beats of a Mindanao band enlivened the welcome ceremony, IKEA customers navigated their way through the store offering diverse homeware.
The IKEA experience isn’t just about shopping for exquisite Swedish furniture known for its spare but stylish design, but also about trying out Swedish cuisine at the fourth floor restaurant, second floor café and ground floor bistro. As long lines marked the first day, the store was quick to deploy 30 ushers reminding everyone to practice social distancing by noontime.
At 7 p.m., the restaurant ran out of Swedish meatballs, which disappointed netizens who posted on their social media sites and even became a trending topic. But not to worry, Ikea Philippines is here to stay.