IKEA’s Malls Arm Branches Out Into Housing in China
IKEA’s shopping malls business, one of the world’s biggest, has kicked off the sales process for some 500 flats at its first-ever mixed-use retail and residential development, in Changsha in southern China.
Cindy Andersen, managing director at Ingka Centres since February, said in an interview she expected flat buyers to start moving in in March 2022, after the adjacent mall opened last month following delays due to the pandemic.
Ingka Centres has 45 malls, or “meeting places” as it calls them following a strategy tweak a few years ago, anchored by IKEA furniture stores across Europe, Russia and China – in China under the brand Livat.
The company has shifted towards more entertainment and social spaces in its developments as consumers, in China in particular, increasingly shop online while visiting malls more for food or movies. Andersen told Reuters a third of tenants at the Livat Changsha mall were retailers currently.
With housing, it is testing yet another income leg, banking on the rapid urbanisation in China. Livat Changsha’s residential building, besides the flats, also sport common living and work spaces designed and decorated in co-operation with IKEA that it hopes will appeal to people working from home.