Ikea plans to invest USD60 million to set up an energy efficient retail outlet in Tianjin.
The home furnishing retailer has signed an initial deal with Tianjin Dongli district, and the construction of the Tianjin outlet is expected to begin this summer, Ian Duffy, president of IKEA Asia-Pacific, told local media.
The store, covering an area of 600,000 square meters, will be Ikea's fifth franchised store in China — the others are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.
The project will be part of a complex including shopping, entertainment, leisure, culture, and catering, according to Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo.
According to Duffy, "Tianjin is, without any doubt, one of the most progressive and rapidly growing cities in China now."
The Swedish company is working on the design of the building that will house the store and its energy sources.
"What we are planning in Tianjin is a leading-edge development in environmental protection," Duffy said.
Along with 13 other members of a European retail roundtable, Ikea recently announced its commitment to energy efficiency and wider use of renewable energy.
These retailers have undertaken to reduce energy consumption per square meter of commercial space by at least 20 percent by 2020 and work to surpass a European Commission renewable energy target of 20 percent.
Mayor Huang said Ikea will benefit from a large commercial project in Tianjin, given the city's fast development.
Refusing to elaborate on the potential commercial returns from Tianjin, Duffy said Ikea will be successful in the city and will have a sound partnership with the local government.
Ikea has been in China for 10 years. It plans to open new stores this year in Shenzhen, Nanjing and Dalian, and to continue opening at least one or two stores every year in the country.