JOHOR BARU: IKEA Malaysia opened its first store in southern Malaysia on Wednesday – IKEA Tebrau, which is also the largest IKEA store in Southeast Asia.
Located next to the Aeon Tebrau City shopping mall, the store spans an area of 46,713 square metres and features 54 furniture showrooms.
IKEA Southeast Asia retail director Mike King said with the new store, the company is closer to achieving its vision of offering better lifestyle choices to the people of Johor and southern Malaysia.
"We also believe that the new store will raise the bar in the home furnishings offering in Johor. That is the minimum expectation that we set for ourselves whenever we open a new store.
"This will also raise the competition in the home furnishing industry in Johor. Competition is good for us, because it keeps us sharp; and also for the consumers because it gives them better value and more ideas and choices," said King.
He said while furniture on offer at the store has a Swedish look, the design ideas are based on feedback that the company received from the people of Johor.
King was speaking at the opening ceremony of the store, which was launched by state Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.
Also present was IKEA Southeast Asia managing director Christian Rojkjaer.
The store’s opening has been highly anticipated, and hundreds of customers began waiting in line at 7am in order to be among the first in the new IKEA.
By the time the store opened at 10am, the line consisted of some 4,000 people.
King said at least 20,000 people are expected on the store’s first day of operations.
IKEA Tebrau, which has a total of 300 employees, is expected to serve more than 1.8 million consumers residing within a 60 minute radius of the store, and millions more beyond that.
It boasts 1,771 parking bays, although customers also have the option of taking a free shuttle bus from Larkin Sentral, and the KTMB Museum in the city centre, to reach the store.