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IKEA Jordan to open its doors on Thursday
By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 04,2014 - Last updated at Mar 04,2014
AMMAN — IKEA will open its JD55-million home furnishing products store in Jordan on Thursday with plans to benefit from the Kingdom’s strategic location to export its products to neighbouring countries, Saleh Yacoub Al Homaizi, chairman of SYH Retail-IKEA, said on Tuesday.
The three-storey facility, which is built over a 42,000-square-metre area in Al Yadoudeh area, has employed around 400 Jordanians, who constitute 95 per cent of the total staff members, according to Homaizi.
“We chose to open a mega-store in Jordan due to the stability in the country and the attractive investment climate,” he told The Jordan Times in an interview on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the inauguration of the facility.
The project, a Kuwaiti investment, is IKEA’s largest store in the Middle East, according to the chairman of SYH Retail, which owns the franchise that operates the IKEA brand in Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco.
Founded in 1943 in Sweden, IKEA has 346 stores in 43 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Egypt.
IKEA employs 151,000 individuals in its stores around the world, which receive around 775 million visitors every year, according to a statement released by the company.
“IKEA Jordan will provide all home furnishing products in one place and offer new services that are unavailable in Jordan at present,” Homaizi added.
He noted that IKEA conducted feasibility studies prior to opening a store in Jordan, which indicated that the project was feasible.
“There is huge scope for the furniture business in Jordan. The demand is high here. We also would like to take advantage of Jordan’s location to export to neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Syria, when the situation stabilises in the country,” Homaizi said, noting that Aqaba Port will help the company export its products to regional states.
Meanwhile, Musa Saket, a member of the Jordan Chamber of Industry board, welcomed the opening of an IKEA store.
“Securing jobs for 400 persons means supporting 400 families. This will have a positive impact on the overall economy,” he said.
“Any investment at this stage plays a key role in supporting the economy,” Saket told The Jordan Times over the phone.
Noting that the presence of IKEA will increase competition in the domestic furniture sector, he said: “In my opinion, competition is healthy and very positive.”
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Saad Istetiyeh, representative of wood industries and furniture at the Jordan Chamber of Industry, on Wednesday warned that the Kingdom’s imports of these items, which are 200 per cent higher than its exports, would affect local products.
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