KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): IKEA today held the groundbreaking ceremony for its fourth store in Malaysia located in Batu Kawan, Penang.
The Swedish furniture chain said the store is set to open in 2019 and will be within a one-hour drive for more than 825,000 households in Penang.
"It will be easy for millions of people to access the thousands of functional, affordable home furnishing products we have in our IKEA range — not to mention our Swedish meatballs!" said Christian Rojkjaer, managing director of IKEA Southeast Asia, in a statement.
"We have seen people from Penang driving more than 350 kilometres to shop at IKEA in Kuala Lumpur. This store in Batu Kawan will make it easy for them to come for a great day out," he added.
The store forms part of the Aspen Vision City development, which promises to transform Batu Kawan into a vibrant community with condominiums, a financial hub, a school and parkland.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in a separate statement, said the store will create hundreds of new jobs and create spin-off businesses for suppliers, as well as draw in tourists and new investors.
"Attracting IKEA to our state has long been a key part of our plan to make Penang an international and intelligent state that is also an attractive destination where people live, learn, work and play," said Lim.
IKEA Batu Kawan will become the fourth IKEA store in Malaysia, with two in Klang Valley and another in Johor Bahru slated to open by end 2017.