(Bloomberg) -- Ingka Holding BV, parent of the world’s largest home-furnishings retailer Ikea, has started construction on a $1.2 billion shopping mall in Shanghai that the company says is its single biggest investment.
The mall, Ingka’s fifth in China, will span 430,000 square meters and house more than 300 local and foreign merchants, as well as an Ikea store, Ingka said in a statement on Thursday.
After it opens in 2022, the mall, termed an “Ingka Center,” will also have office space for 3,000 Ikea employees, becoming one of the company’s biggest worldwide bases, according to the statement.
Ingka’s mega-investment comes at a time when concern is growing that Chinese consumers are pulling back in the face of a slowing economy and the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Households have been spending less and saving more as pricier housing takes a toll.
Ingka said the project marks a “new era” for the company’s mall business. The company already has three malls in Beijing, Wuhan and Wuxi open for business, and another two malls under construction in Xi’an and Changsha.
--With assistance from Emma Dong.
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