IKEA Starts Construction on First Store in Southern Malaysia

May Ong
IKEA has laid the foundation for its first store outside the Klang Valley, at a cement-pouring ceremony with co-workers, business friends, government officials and community leaders gathered at the site for IKEA Tebrau.

The ceremony was officiated by Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ismail Bin Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), on behalf of Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin, Chief Minister of Johor.

Located at Jalan Desa Tebrau in Johor Bahru (JB), the store is scheduled to open at the end of 2017 and will span 46,713 square metres. "Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people, so we are really excited to be building our first IKEA store in Southern Malaysia," said Christian Rojkjaer, Managing Director of IKEA Southeast Asia. "With the excitement that we have already seen in JB, I can't wait to open the doors of IKEA Tebrau. More than 1.8 million people live within a 60-minute drive of this site, and we hope to serve millions more from the state of Johor – and beyond!"

"The store will help motivate the state's development and economic growth, and contribute to improvement in our quality of life."

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ismail Bin Ibrahim, on behalf of the Chief Minister of Johor

IKEA offers well-designed, Swedish home furnishing products at prices so low so that as many people as possible can afford them. The store in Johor will include all the features IKEA customers have come to love: home furnishing inspiration in an expansive showroom, thousands of flat-packed products ready to take home the same day, a supervised playground for the children and, of course, Swedish meatballs.

Johoreans can also look forward to ideas and products that enable them to live a more sustainable life at home, ranging from LED lightbulbs and efficient taps to food savers and recycling solutions.

Mr. Rojkjaer revealed that the project plan in Johor includes a shopping centre that will be anchored by the IKEA store. "Together, our shopping centre and IKEA will help make Tebrau a fantastic retail destination, welcoming the many people to shop, dine and play."

IKEA Tebrau Group

Speaking on behalf of the Chief Minister of Johor, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ismail Bin Ibrahim said: "The store will help motivate the state's development and economic growth, and contribute to improvement in our quality of life. The addition of IKEA to the city provides great job opportunities and means a lot to the people of Johor."

The RM592 million investment will generate thousands of spin-off opportunities within local services and supply businesses while creating more than 300 permanent jobs. Recruitment is in full swing with dozens of Johoreans on board and in training at Kuala Lumpur stores.

Leading the store's operation is Annie Chandler, Store Manager of IKEA Tebrau. She will help drive commercial planning and build-up of the store together with Deputy Store Manager Charles Sathis Nair, a Johorean with over 19 years of experience in retail and in-depth knowledge of the local market.

The Johor store is an integral part of the overall expansion plan for IKEA Southeast Asia. In addition to the opening of IKEA Cheras last year, the company opened an IKEA Pick Up and Delivery Point in Phuket, Thailand. Another IKEA is under construction in Bangkok, and the company has a strong ambition to open a store in Penang in 2018.

Faithful+Gould's project team – consisting of project managers, construction managers, health and safety executive (HSE) specialists, commercial managers, design managers, specialist schedulers, and the architectural design review team – is working closely with the client to deliver the development in accordance with their operational needs and requirements. Our role includes managing the full statutory approval process, the design, construction and handover of the IKEA store in JB.