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By Niam Seet Wei
PETALING JAYA, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- Home furnishing retailer Ikea Malaysia hopes the upcoming 2019 Budget will be pro-business to allow the company to continue its expansion plan in the country.
Ikea Southeast Asia Deputy Retail Director Gerard Jansen said a pro-business budget would also enable the company to continue looking at more affordable ways to price its products in order to create a better daily life for more Malaysians.
"Of course, in any business, we have to look at our bottom-line as well, so, anything that could help us to maintain our growth will be more than welcome.
"So I hope it will remain a pro-business budget," he told Bernama when asked on his wishlist for the 2019 Budget, to be tabled in Parliament on Nov 2, on the sidelines of Ikea’s 75th anniversary celebration here, today.
On his views on the business environment in Malaysia after the Pakatan Harapan-led government took over after its victory in the May 9 general election, Jansen said it is too soon to tell now.
"I supposed we have to wait until the announcement of Budget 2019 to have a better feel of how pro-business the environment will be," he said.
Currently, there are three Ikea stores in Malaysia, namely in Damansara, Cheras and Tebrau, and the fourth store is scheduled to be opened in Penang in March 2019. The furniture giant has also launched its online store in August to complement its physical stores.
Meanwhile, on the price change after the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on Sept 1 this year, Ikea Malaysia clarified that its recent price adjustment had nothing to do with the new tax regime, but was in line with the new 2019 Ikea Catalogue that the company had just released.
"We acknowledge that there has been confusion among customers locally, with many associating our price change with the government’s recent implementation of SST, and we would like to clarify that our price change and SST are two separate implementations," Ikea Malaysia told Bernama in an email.
It said factors that contributed to the changes in its products pricing included cost of production, changes in product demands globally, currency fluctuations, and market competitiveness.
"We would like to highlight that at Ikea, price review and changes take effect every September, and this has been our standard practice for our operations across all markets, and we are committed to our promise of offering the lowest and most competitive prices across all our markets.
"This is to ensure that the people in Malaysia can continue to enjoy affordable, well-designed, functional and quality home furnishing products and solutions," it added.
In conjunction with today's celebration, Ikea Malaysia, which has a presence in the country for 22 years, also introduced the limited edition, the Gratulera vintage collection, and unveiled its year-long theme, “Make Home Count”, in response to the evolving trends and people’s needs at home.