Ikea Singapore is to open Southeast Asia’s first ‘small-store’ concept at Jem mall in the city’s west.
The announcement today follows news last week that local department store Robinsons was vacating the space. The change of anchor is a perfect example of how consumer shopping preferences – and thus the balance of mall tenancies – is reshaping the modern retail market.
The new Ikea Singapore store will open next year, taking up about 6500sqm across three floors of Jem, which is managed by Lendlease. It will be the Swedish furniture and home decor chain’s third shop in the city.
“This store will bring us closer to millions of customers,” said Jaap Doornbos, Ikea retail director for Singapore & Vietnam. “This will be the first time we are establishing a smaller Ikea store format as a tenant within a shopping centre in this region.”
The ‘small-store’ concept is still relatively new globally. Unlike the giant standalone stores Ikea is known for, with their winding pathway layout, the Jem outlet will combine the full Ikea product range into one department. It will not feature a children’s playground, but will include an Ikea restaurant serving Swedish meatballs and fried chicken wings, among other items.
“We see a bright future ahead for our store at Jem,” said Sebastian Hylving, property & expansion director at Ikea Southeast Asia & Mexico.
“Jem is one of four malls connected to the Jurong Gateway, linked to public transport. At Jem, Lendlease has curated a combination of great F&B offer with fashion, groceries and entertainment to create an everyday meeting place for the many people.”
Hylving says the two Ikea big-box stores, located at Tampines and Alexandra, attract almost 7 million visits each year.
Ikea is reaping the benefits of renewed consumer interest in making homes more comfortable during the Covid-19 era, and the need for furniture and supplies needed for working from home.
Ng Hsueh Ling, Lendlease Singapore MD and chief investment officer for Asia, said the company looked forward to bringing a first-to-market lifestyle concept to its mall.
“We are continually rejuvenating our tenancy mix and bringing new experiences to them.”