World's biggest IKEA store opens in PH on Nov. 25

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 12)— The long wait is over: IKEA Philippines is finally launching its physical store in Pasay City this month.

In a press release Friday, the Swedish furniture maker said its first branch in the country — located at the Mall of Asia Complex — will open its doors on Nov. 25. It is tagged as the biggest IKEA store in the world.

"It has been a challenging couple of years, but we are proud that even through a pandemic, we are now ready to build a better everyday life with the many people in the Philippines," said Georg Platzer, IKEA Pasay City's store manager.

IKEA Philippines was supposed to open its first physical store in 2020, but it was pushed back to this year due to construction delays and the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with CNN Philippines earlier in the day, Platzer had assured that the store will open before year-end.

What to expect in the IKEA store

The IKEA store will feature a showroom and market hall with a total of 8,000 products.

Visitors can stop by IKEA's restaurant, which can accommodate up to 850 people — subject to strict COVID-19 protocols.

There will also be a marketplace where customers can find various Swedish food products, including vegetarian and vegan products like meatballs, hot dogs, and ice cream.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the store will only allow a limited number of visitors per day via a slot booking system, IKEA said.

To schedule a visit, customers must visit and follow these steps: 1. Book a date and time slot; 2. Choose number of visitors (up to 3); and 3. Get a digital token. IKEA Family members will be getting early access to book shopping slots.

IKEA Philippines launched its e-commerce site earlier this month. The site is now operating 24/7 and accessible to more customers buying items for home storage and work space, Platzer said.

Platzer also said the company has enough stock to cater to the needs of customers ahead of the yuletide season.

"We have stocked up as much as we could. Second is we have very reliable partners to do the last mile fulfillment for logistic companies to help us transport the goods to people's homes in exactly the conditions that we want and as fast as possible," he said.