Perhaps one of the most-awaited store openings in the Philippines this year is that of IKEA in Pasay City. This early, people have already created their wish lists on the IKEA Philippines web site (yes, you can already create a wish list but you can’t make any purchases yet). The web site will be open for shopping soon, before the fourth quarter opening of the physical store.

The store is five-story building in the Mall of Asia Complex. It will have a floor area of 68,000 sqm, said IKEA’s Pasay City store manager Georg Platzer.

“However, our visitors and customers will have access to our showroom, restaurant and Market Hall on levels 3 and 4,” said Platzer.

Last week, the global brand held the first-ever IKEA Festival with DJs, artists, designers, chefs and many other talents turning their homes into virtual stages.

To kick off the festival, IKEA in the Philippines hosted a virtual press conference and one of the highlights of the event was Raniel Hernandez of Facebook group Scandi Homes Enthusiasts giving us a tour of his lovely home, which even had a corner for recycling and composting.

This was what the festival was about. It was set in over 100 homes, studios and neighborhoods worldwide with living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and backyards turned into virtual stages for performances and experiences in more than 50 markets across the world, including the Philippines.

“This is a new kind of experience IKEA wants to offer—celebrating, connecting and engaging around life at home. Home tours around the world will open doors to new experiences and new inspiration. We want to spark a conversation on the more sustainable and affordable life at home of tomorrow. And just as with any festival, you can expect a few surprises,” said Erika Intiso, managing director of IKEA Marketing and Communication AB.

The festival took place on and in IKEA stores in different room settings. There were also rooms where discussions took on current topics and visitors were kept abreast on news about IKEA.

The IKEA Festival gave visitors and Scandinavian design fans so many experiences, including home makeover inspirations, storage advice cook-offs, intimate concerts and access to what is happening in IKEA right now, from the factory floor in Zbąszynek, Poland, to the prototype shop in Älmhult, Sweden. IKEA fans even got to travel back in time in a digital IKEA museum to explore the diverse history of the brand over the decades.

Festival-goers got exclusive glimpses into the creative processes of designers and IKEA collaborators Ilse Crawford and Virgil Abloh. Star chefs from all over the world, including Swedish cook Paul Svensson and Flynn McGarry, shared recipes and how-tos. “The home has never been more important than before. And with virtual connection now taking on a more prominent role in everyone’s life at home, we can open the door to many more lives around the world—exploring each other’s individuality and creativity at home,” said Platzer.

IKEA put up a billboard featuring more than 1,000 Filipino families along Edsa Magallanes. The collage was of the many “life at home” stories of Filipinos shared to IKEA last June. The store also opened a pop-up in SM Mall of Asia. The next pop-up will be in SM Megamall.

But perhaps one of the most exciting highlights of the festival was IKEA’s new collection of gaming furniture and products. One of the lines in the gaming collection, called Uppspels, is in collaboration with ASUS ROG. The ASUS ROG IKEA Collaboration product line Uppspel (Swedish for “play”) includes 12 products, and is the flagship line of IKEA’s gaming collection. The Uppspel collection includes an electronically height-adjustable gaming desk, alongside the Matchspel gaming chair, in addition to other gaming-focused furniture such as a striking pegboard and neck pillow.

There will be five other lines in the collection. The other product lines are Lånespelare, Matchspel, Gruppspel, Utespelare and Hudvudspelare.

The entire collection takes the form of more than 30 new products, from gaming chairs to desks, mug holders to neck pillows, all of which will be available in stores by the end of October. The pieces in the line are offered at different price ranges to meet the needs of a variety of gamers.

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