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An architectural rendering of the new Ikea store. An architectural rendering of the new Ikea store.

Ikea plans to open its Mexico City store early next year

In the meantime the company says online sales have been way over expectations

The first brick-and-mortar Ikea store in Mexico is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2021 in Mexico City, although the company’s recently opened online site is already busy from unexpected demand.

“We are excited to open Ikea in Mexico only three years after the decision was made to enter the Mexican market, especially under the tough Covid-19 conditions in Mexico City,” said Ikea Mexico retail country manager Malcolm Pruys in a press release. “It took significant collaboration and support across the Ikano Group and the retail business to make this possible. We now look forward to opening the first store early next year,”

Ikano Group is a corporation that operates franchised Ikea stores in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. A conglomerate with businesses across several industry sectors, it announced in August that it plans to build a 100,000-square-meter manufacturing plant in Ramos Arispe, Coahuila, for mattresses and sofas to be sold in North American Ikea stores.

Ikea store manager Annie Chandler told the newspaper El Financiero that the new physical store will be an anchor in the Encuentro Oceania mall, currently under construction in a former industrial zone in the Moctezuma Section 2 neighborhood in Venustiano Carranza.

Originally, the brick-and-mortar store was meant to open before the online one, but Covid-related issues forced the company to open the online site first. The website opened with a soft launch with no publicity as the company wanted to get to know the Mexican market and work out long-term details like the kind of vehicles it would use in its delivery fleet.

A rendering of the Encuentro Oceania shopping center in Mexico City.
A rendering of the Encuentro Oceania shopping center in Mexico City.

But customers found the site anyway. Within two days, the company was overwhelmed with orders from all over Mexico.

“We launched in a very discreet manner because we hoped to grow slowly,” Pruys told Forbes México. “There was a 1000% more demand than predicted, for which we were not prepared.”

The online site is currently dealing with the unexpected avalanche of orders with only about 150 customer service employees. The website warns customers that deliveries could be delayed up to 15 days.

Meanwhile, plans proceed slowly but surely to install the brick-and-mortar store in the Encuentro Oceania mall. The shopping center, which will have 85,000 square meters of commercial space available, will contain green spaces and will involve the renovation of the Romero Rubio Metro station and sidewalks in the neighborhood, said Galo Rosello, legal director for Pulso Immobiliario, the development company building the over 500-million-peso (US $25-million) project.

According to the Ikea website, the brick-and-mortar store is expected to create around 350 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect ones.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum recently announced that the mall will also host one of the 300 Pilares community centers she plans to open by 2021 to revitalize community life and reduce crime.

Sources: El Financiero (sp), Forbes México (sp), La Silla Rota (sp)

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