MORE THAN THAT, IT’S GOING TO BE A NOVEL ROOFTOP COMMUNITY HUB, FUSING SCANDINAVIAN COMFORT WITH MALAYSIAN HOSPITALITY
BY Zoe Phoon
IKEA Southeast Asia – which owns and operates IKEA stores selling well-designed home furnishing products in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – has announced the development of Toppen Shopping Centre, a 1.1 million sq ft shopping destination located in the heart of Tebrau, Johor.
To be seamlessly integrated with IKEA Tebrau, it is expected to open its doors for business by Q3 2019.
Toppen Shopping Centre is Malaysia’s first southern region shopping centre anchored by the first IKEA store outside of the Klang Valley.
With its seamless integration with IKEA Tebrau and links with AEON Tebrau, Toppen is poised to become the heart and hub of the surrounding Johor Bahru community.
More than just a shopping centre, Toppen is going to be a one-of-a-kind rooftop community hub with a mix of retail, sporting, entertainment and dining facilities, welcoming visitors from the vicinity and tourists from across the border, IKEA Southeast Asia said in a statement.
IKEA Southeast Asia develops, owns and operates shopping centres anchored by IKEA, and creates vibrant destinations by investing in residential, office and other types of real estate.
Its multinational team has projects in the pipeline and an ambition to double its business in the coming years. It is part of the Ikano Group of companies and the only IKEA franchisee in the world owned by the Kamprad family that founded IKEA.
As the owner of some of the biggest retail brands and destinations in the region, IKEA Southeast Asia said it continues to modernise the concept of shopping centres by creating vibrant and comfortable meeting places for the community.
The name Toppen comes from the Swedish word meaning awesome or fabulous. Toppen is also a combination of the words top and open, reflecting the shopping centre’s rooftop crown jewel.
Set to take fun to another level, the unique rooftop will include a large multipurpose piazza, community garden, play areas, sporting facilities, a cinema and alfresco eateries that cater to families and friends to create their own personal shopping experience.
One can choose from four levels of international and local retail shops, family-friendly facilities, multipurpose spaces, great entertainment, dining and sporting experiences whether one is here for shopping, leisure or simply to pass the time. There will be something for every budget.
Toppen Shopping Centre is strategically located in the third most populous city in Malaysia. Its surrounding vibrant residential and commercial zones allow the shopping centre to optimally cater to the city’s growth and progress.
IKEA Southeast Asia managing director Christian Rojkjaer said that with Johor’s 3.6 million potential consumers with fast-growing retail sales and booming economy that is growing faster than the rest of the country, the mature community enables the company to create significant partnerships with both the community and business owners.
This includes IKEA Tebrau’s integration and links with neighbouring centres such as AEON Tebrau.
Rojkjaer continued, “Our belief in co-creation allows us to partner with different segments of our business, such as IKEA stores with our shopping centres, along with other tenants, the surrounding community and the many people.
“This means we do not simply build a shopping centre for the sake of a shopping centre. We listen and connect with the local context to address people and planet issues.”
According to him, just like all IKEA stores and shopping centres, Toppen is designed and will be operated to ensure efficient use of resources, including water and energy.
The shopping centre’s sustainability efforts include the use of LED lightings and maintaining the green certifiable standards of the building as well as its operation.
Toppen Shopping Centre is projected to attract 15 million visitors in 2020, not only from Johor but from the southern region of Malaysia and nearby countries like Singapore.
The shopping centre development will bring with it thousands of business opportunities within Malaysia and neighbouring countries, adding vibrancy to the economy.
It is also set to create many career opportunities with an array of permanent jobs for the Johor community.
Christian Olofsson, the company’s shopping centre and mixed-use director, added:
“Through our rich experience and deep understanding of market trends, IKEA’s presence normally contributes to an additional 20% of footfall to our shopping centres.
“Toppen is not just another shopping centre in the country. Instead, it is a space for the community to come together, a platform for business owners to grow, and a positive driver for Johor’s economic growth through creating job opportunities and increasing tourism to the country.”
IKEA Southeast Asia has over 15 years of experience in developing, owning and running successful IKEA stores and shopping centres in the region such as IPC Shopping Centre and MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Malaysia and Megabangna in Thailand.
The success of these projects has attracted a strong roster of new retail brands and long-term partnerships.
With a strong track record and international experience, IKEA Southeast Asia said it is confident that Toppen Shopping Centre will be the meeting place and heart and hub of the Johor community when it opens next year.