BATU KAWAN: Swedish furniture giant IKEA is set to open its fourth Malaysian store in Penang in 2019.
With total investment of RM600 million, IKEA Batu Kawan may be the only IKEA store in the northern part of Malaysia.
IKEA Southeast Asia managing director Christian Rojkjaer said Malaysia may not see any new IKEA store after this for "many years to come".
This, Rojkjaer said, was because IKEA was set to launch an e-commerce site for Malaysia beginning next year.
"Once the e-commence platform is up, customers will be able to shop online from all four Malaysian stores," he told newsmen after the groundbreaking ceremony for IKEA Batu Kawan here today.
Present to launch the groundbreaking ceremony was Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Also present were Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt, Consulate-General of Japan in Penang Kiyoshi Itoi, IKEA Batu Kawan store manager Pathmalingam Arumugam and Aspen Group's president and chief executive officer Datuk M. Murly.
Rojkjaer said with the opening of the IKEA Batu Kawan store, they were looking at creating more than 400 jobs for locals, both permanent and part-time.
At more than 433,000 sf ft (39,379 sq m), IKEA Batu Kawan is within an hour's drive of more than 825,000 households in Penang and the neighbouring states.
IKEA's three other stores are in Damansara and Cheras in the Klang Valley, and Tebrau in Johor, which is slated to open at the end of the year.