(Source: Manila Bulletin | 9 April 2017)
The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application of the global home furnishing giant IKEA as a foreign retailer under the country’s liberalized retail trade law.
Ikano Pte. Ltd, formerly known as Ikea Pte Ltd., was approved by the BOI on December 5, 2016. Ikano owns and operates home furnishing stores in South East Asia and under the franchise rights from the Swedish firm IKEA Systems BV. The company was incorporated in 1980 and is based in Singapore.
The company will also register with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its capitalization requirement.
It is not certain though if the global furniture retailer will have a local partner or if it will operate locally on its own. But IKEA had been in discussion with the country’s largest retailer SM Group for its planned entry into the country.
Last year, SM Investments Corp. vice-chairperson Teresita Sy admitted they were just one among local retailers that IKEA had spoken to.
According to Sy, IKEA has a different model and the way they see the Philippines is different. She also admitted that every local retailer was interested to partner with the popular global retailer.
Sy, however, could only surmise that IKEA’s entry in the local market may not be that soon. If ever, she said, the Swedish retailer maybe making a decision on its entry this year yet.
IKEA–which stands for Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd–is owned by 90-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who established the vanguard company in 1943 when he was 17 years old.
The furniture retailer, which is known for its affordable and ready-to-assemble furniture appliances and home accessories, has 384 branches in nearly 50 countries including Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand in Asia.
— Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat