Business / Companies

Ikea sets its sights on northwest region

By Ma Lie in Xi'an (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-25 10:33

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has set its sights on China's vast northwestern market and is looking to cash in on the growing opportunities from the nation's Belt and Road Initiative.

As part of its efforts, Ikea will start its Xi'an store on Thursday with 57 room settings, more than 8,000 products, a 633-seater restaurant and the free Small Land childcare facility to give local buyers special shopping experiences.

Located in the western suburban of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province and the largest city in Northwest China, Ikea's Xi'an store stands next to the city's third-ring road and is well-connected with the adjacent transportation facilities.

"With a total floor area of 63,000 square meters and an investment of $100 million, Ikea's Xi'an store, the first such store in Northwest China, will provide more convenient one-stop shopping experiences, bring more inspiration for home life and warm and happy experiences to the local people," said Guan Weining, manager of Ikea's Xi'an store.

Guan said that the store will provide a complete reference scheme for home decoration and sell more than 8,000 kinds of household items like cabinets, sofas, carpets, picture frames, lights, pots and pans to meet the requirements of everyday life at home.

According to Doris Lan, vice-president of Ikea China, it is the 18th store Ikea developed in China after it came to the country in 1998. "The Ikea Xi'an store will not only focus on Xi'an, but also radiate to the five provinces and regions in Northwest China," the vice-president said.

Economic analysts said that Ikea's development in China has significantly accelerated after it opened 11 stores from 1998 to March, 2012, with 7 of these added in the past three years.

Zhang Baotong, director of the Regional Development Advisory Center under the Shaanxi Academy of Social Sciences, said that Ikea's new store in Xi'an shows that foreign investment pipeline is still robust in China.

"Xi'an used to be the starting point of the ancient Silk Road linking China and Europe and will get more benefit from China's Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping. Ikea's development in Xi'an as well as in Northwest China will promote economic growth for both IKEA and the region," Zhang said.

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