IKEA PH bets on ‘decluttering’ to boost PH sales

A view of the facade of the IKEA building in Pasay City on November 10, 2021 as it operates 24/7 to fulfill customer online orders since November 3. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News / File

MANILA – IKEA is betting on Filipinos who find pleasure in “decluttering” and beautifying their homes to increase sales at its Pasay City store during the COVID-19 pandemic, its national manager Georg Platzer said on Friday.

The pandemic is having an “interesting impact” on the furnishings of the house, as money allocated for travel or vacations was instead invested to make the house as “comfortable” as possible, Platzer told reporters at the meeting. ‘a visit to IKEA Pasay City on Friday.

“I know there is less money in total, less money available for consumption, but we also believe that a lot of the money available is still spent on furniture. This is why I am convinced of our success here, ”said Platzer.

“So people, instead of going on vacation or buying a new car, would invest money in the house, especially for a work solution, an office solution, the bedroom, people would invest. really into a good night’s sleep and also storage solutions. Decluttering makes them happy, ”he added.

The majority of Metro Manila’s more than 13 million people were forced to stay at home in March 2020 when the pandemic hit the country. Workers have shifted to remote work while students have turned to online learning.

The health situation has improved since then, but many still work from home.

Other local furniture and construction stores such as Wilcon Depot, as well as e-commerce sites such as Shopee, also noted increased sales of home items throughout the quarantine.

The world’s largest IKEA store will finally open in the Philippines on November 25 after months of delays in part due to the pandemic and other disasters that have hit since the project began a few years ago, Platzer said.

“Some things in the Philippines being an archipelago take time. You can’t compare that to European countries where everything is played out on the road … [In the Philippines] natural disaster, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, pandemic, we have it all here. You don’t have these things all over the world, ”he joked.

But Platzer said he was confident in IKEA’s success, as evidenced by 9 weeks of its online operations, which have already satisfied nearly 30,000 online shoppers. He said the brick and mortar store could trigger more sales.

Although he declined to share the sales target for the first year, Platzer said he hopes to reach 7 million visitors for the first full year and serve them safely during the pandemic.

Of the 68,000 m² of 5-storey facilities, a combined total of 15,000 m² is for the showroom and the market hall, while 16,000 m² is for the dedicated warehouse.

It also has a restaurant, known for its Swedish meatballs, which would only accommodate 60% of its seating capacity to comply with health protocols, Platzer said.

The entire building can accommodate 8,000 people, but only half will be allowed inside the building at any given time, including personnel responsible for ensuring the safety of buyers, Platzer said.

IKEA has announced that it will open reservation slots for shopping. There will be no authorized walk-in.

So far, IKEA Philippines directly employs around 600 people and has generated around 1,000 additional jobs in areas such as transport providers, assembly, cleaners, packers and security, he said.

The Swedish furniture maker now has 463 stores worldwide, including the Philippine subsidiary.


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