SINGAPORE - Ikea Singapore will hire 200 people for its new Jurong store at suburban mall Jem despite a fall in revenue in its last financial year, the firm announced on Tuesday (Oct 6).
The store - the third Ikea outlet here - is slated to open next year and will span around 6,500 sq m across three floors.
Ikea's South-east Asia and Mexico operations retained all its workers throughout the lockdowns and will continue to recruit staff despite a 7.4 per cent drop in revenue for its nine South-east Asian stores in the 12 months to August 31.
The stores posted $966 million in sales after facing closures of up to 2½ months, supply challenges and limits on building capacity.
When income from its five Ikea-anchored shopping centres that are operated by Ikano Centres is factored in, total turnover for the year comes in at $1.1 billion - $90 million less than the previous year.
Ikea's turnover in Singapore was $304 million, about 10 per cent down from last year.
Mr Jaap Doornbos, its retail director for Singapore and Vietnam, said: "Our Singapore stores endured the longest closures of any in our region - at 73 days, 20 per cent of the year. Our Ikea food operations were closed even longer and we have curtailed operations even upon opening.
"Given these challenging circumstances, we are very satisfied that the turnover during the last financial year dropped just 10 per cent - half of the share of the days that the stores were closed.
"These results are driven by a very strong e-commerce business, the great inspiration people are finding in our stores upon reopening and the continued interest in home furnishing."
Ikea noted that stores were largely able to continue selling online during long closures. Workers set up large-scale fulfilment operations and additional transport was sourced to open up more delivery slots.
"By the end of the financial year, customers had placed more than 525,00 online orders and rung up $135 million in Web sales - more than double the company's e-commerce turnover from the previous year," it said.
Mr Christian Rojkjaer, managing director for Ikea South-east Asia and Mexico, added: "The Covid-19 crisis changed how many of us value life at home. At a time of urgent need, people turned to Ikea to set up home offices, study corners, outdoor living areas and functional kitchens.
"Our priority is to do everything we can to keep co-workers and customers safe, and to keep going - because our visions to create a better everyday life for the many has never been more relevant."
Ikea South-east Asia and Mexico - one of 12 Ikea franchisees around the world - operates stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand as well as the portfolio of Ikano Centres with some 1,500 tenants and 4 million sq ft in leasable space.
It will enter Mexico and the Philippines next year.