SM, Ikea in talks for joint venture

SM Investments Corp., the holding company of tycoon Henry Sy, said Wednesday it is negotiating for a partnership or possibly a joint venture with Swedish furniture brand Ikea.

SMIC vice chairperson Tessie Sy-Coson said SM was one of several companies that Ikea was looking at as possible partners in the Philippines.

“We have no decision yet. Ikea has a different retailing model unique from retailers here in the Philippines,” Sy-Coson said in a chance interview at the sidelines of the ongoing National Retailers Conference and Exhibition 2016 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

She said Ikea was also in talks with several other retail companies, “so it’s not special that we are talking with them.”

“The way they see the Philippines is different. They have some requirements that we are supposed to deliver. These are yet to be met. I can’t tell you what those are. And we have not finalized anything yet,” she said.

Sy-Coson said when Ikea sent feelers that it wanted to go to the Philippines, that alone “made everyone interested.”

Coson said the Swedish brand’s entry might take a while, as prospective partners were still working out how they could manage to apply Ikea’s model in the local retail sector.

She said the brand could be targeting a 2017 opening.

Ikea is a Swedish furniture retailer that has presence in Asia Pacific including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

It also has several outlets in Europe, North America, Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean.

Topics: SM Investments Corp. , Henry Sy , Ikea , joint venture
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