Ikea Philippines debut imminent

The launch of Ikea Philippines is a major step closer after the Swedish furniture giant’s local partner won Board of Investment (BOI) approval to set up business.

News of the BOI pre-approval of a bid by Ikano Pte Ltd, the operator and franchise-rights owner of Swedish furniture brand Ikea in key Asian markets, was broken by the Business Mirror, which cited BOI documents dated last November.

Ikea has always wanted to establish a presence in the Philippines, especially Manila, and there have been reports of planning for a launch as far back as 2013.

The Business Mirror points out that under current law, before engaging in retail trade business – or investing in an existing store in the Philippines – all foreign retailers must have a net worth of either US$200 million or $50 million, depending on its classification as a foreign retailer.

“The foreign retailer must also have five operating retail branches or franchises in global locations, unless it owns at least one store worth $25 million, and a five-year track record in retailing,” the publication explained.

Ikea is already operated in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan by a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered Dairy Farm International, which also owns the Guardian chain of health and beauty shops, and pharmacies.

It is run by a separate franchisor in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

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