Ikano Pte Ltd, the operator of IKEA stores in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, is expected to open its second Malaysian outlet at Jalan Cochrane as part of an overall expansion plan across Southeast Asia.

The new store is being erected within an upcoming integrated development area in Cochrane whereby an upcoming underground MRT Station would be directly connected with IKEA’s upcoming neighbour, a 11-storey complex hosting a 1.2 million sq ft shopping centre known as myTown Cochrane.

This retail complex is a joint venture project between conglomerate Boustead Holdings Berhad and Ikano Pte Ltd.

The master developer of the surrounding area Mutiara Rini Sdn Bhd, also subsidiary of Boustead Holdings Berhad, would also build four tower residential blocks, comprising two 40-storeys block and two 35-storeys block and two low-rise blocks of 7-storey each to complement the entire retail development.

To recap, IKEA opened its first store in Malaysia in 1996 at 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya. With the strong support given by Malaysian fans and customers, IKEA grew rapidly into a standalone megastore in Mutiara Damansara in 2003, which was the biggest IKEA store in Asia at that time of opening.

Similarly to myTown Cochrane, Ikano Pte Ltd also partnered Boustead Holdings Berhad and built the Ikano Power Centre (now renamed as IPC Shopping Centre) next to the IKEA Damansara store.

Continuing its success in Malaysia, the IKEA Cheras store will be the biggest yet in Malaysia with an overall store size that is 20 percent larger than IKEA Damansara. IKEA Cheras is said to have a retail space of 41,000 sq m and a car parking area of 72,000 sq m.

“The development is currently ongoing as we progress to focus on the interior fittings and operational set-up of the store. Further details will be unveiled over the coming months,” its retail director Mike King said in a press statement recently.

Last year, Ikano Pte Ltd together with Aspen Vision Land Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Aspen Group, and the Penang Development Corporation entered into a purchase and development agreement for a proposed RM8 billion integrated development in Penang. They will jointly develop a state-of-the-art integrated regional shopping centre that will be anchored by an IKEA store, the first in northern Malaysia.

Again undertaken in a joint venture partnership with Ikano Pte Ltd, the flagship project is part of the 10-year planned Aspen Vision City involving 245 acres of freehold land in Bandar Cassia in Batu Kawan on the mainland of Penang located near the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (Penang Second Bridge).

This project is one of several planned in Batu Kawan, including a RM1 billion project consisting of a premium retail shopping outlet called the Penang Designer Village, a 300-room international-class hotel and an offshore branch campus of Britain’s University of Hull.

Ikano Pte Ltd was also said to be exploring the Iskandar Malaysia market in the southern state of Johor. With the booming middle-to-upper class population, Ikano Pte Ltd looks certain to continue its expansion nationwide in Malaysia and in the Greater Southeast Asia region.

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