JOHOR BARU: IKEA will invest RM592 million to build its third store in Malaysia, which is located in Tebrau and expected to open at the end of next year.

Ikea Southeast Asia managing director Christian Rojkjaer said the company chose Johor Baru because of its rapid development.

“We have watched the development of the city for some time and are impressed with the infrastructure that is being built. We chose Johor Baru because we want to play a role in the development of the city,” he said.

Rojkjaer said the company’s investment would create thousands of spin-off opportunities for local service and supply businesses and also more than 300 jobs.

The new store will have a total space of 46,713 square metres and serve more than 1.8 million people who live in the area.

“For the first year, we expect to welcome between three million and four million visitors to the store. After that, we expect the store to attract about six million visitors annually, which is comparable to the seven million people who visit our Damansara store annually,” said Rojkjaer.

Despite the proximity of the Tebrau store to Ikea Singapore, Rojkjaer gave his assurance that the two stores would complement each other.

“I don’t think there would be any problems with the two stores being close to each other. The store here is designed specifically for the Johor Baru market.

“As for the prices of the products, we are committed to offering the lowest prices possible. We want our products to be affordable for everybody,” he said after the groundbreaking of the new store in Taman Desa Tebrau, here.

Also present were Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, who represented Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, and Ikea store manager Annie Chandler.

In Khaled’s speech read by Ismail, he said the presence of Ikea here would heighten the city’s vibrant retail sector, as there would be another point of interest that would attract more visitors to the state capital.

“The development of the Ikea store is set to create hundreds of jobs and thousands of spin-offs in various sectors, namely construction, logistics and retail and services,” he said.

Source: New Straits Times