Ikano Centres, part of IKEA Southeast Asia, is launching a new drive-thru concept next to IKEA Batu Kawan in Penang. The drive-thru will focus on F&B and according to the company, will be the natural phase in the development of its meeting place that embraces the new age of convenience.

Expected to be fully-operational by mid-2021, the drive-thru component will complement the current dine-in IKEA restaurant and F&B tenants. The first partner to come onboard for the drive-thru concept is McDonald's Malaysia, marking its 16th free-standing outlet in Penang. Ikano Centres is also currently in talks with petrol station operators to meet the high demand within the growing township of Aspen Vision City in Batu Kawan. The latest anchored-by-IKEA commercial development is a joint-venture between IKEA Southeast Asia and Malaysia's Aspen Group to develop Aspen Vision City, transforming Batu Kawan into an iconic hub in the Northern region of Malaysia.

Christian Roejkjaer, MD of Ikea Southeast Asia and Mexico, said for many, drive-thrus have become a quintessential part of their lifestyle and may play a crucial role in the new normal. "Building our first drive-thru concept in Batu Kawan is one way for us to create a safe and positive space for the community to come out and enjoy their favourite food," he added.

Meanwhile, MD and local operating partner of McDonald's Malaysia, Azmir Jaarfar, said its latest outlet will reflect the iconic fun, bright and comfortable atmosphere that most Malaysians have come to love.

"At McDonald's Malaysia, we continue to cater to changing trends among customers who are increasingly seeking convenience, as well as fast and friendly service to complement their on-the-go lifestyles. We are excited to expand our drive-thru footprint to Batu Kawan, where customers can now enjoy 'feel-good-moments' just by conveniently driving by and ordering their favourite meals from a McDonald's restaurant window," Azmir said.

IKEA Southeast Asia currently owns and operates five shopping centres in the region anchored by IKEA, including IPC Shopping Centre and MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Malaysia, as well as Megabangna in Thailand. Andrew Yeoh is currently in charge of its marketing and innovation as head of marketing and innovation for Ikano Centres.

In July this year, Ikano Centres tied up with community platform GoGet to make its entire portfolio of shopping centres in Malaysia available through the GoGet app. This is part of its marketing efforts to bring greater awareness to Shop with GoGet.

Arnoud Bakker, head of leasing at Ikano Centres, said previously that even though visitors’ behaviours and shopping patterns would change during the crisis, the needs would still remain the same, which was why it was important for Ikano Centres to anticipate these changes and have the agility to respond and adapt its offerings accordingly, ultimately creating “the safest and best experiences” at its meeting places.

It also got Malaysians dancing to a TikTok challenge during Hari Raya through the #TipTokRaya brand film. The film features three elder generation ‘Toks’ who give advice to their younger generation family members to help keep family and cultural traditions alive. The brand film was also a fully mobile optimised vertical 9:16 cut for viewers to enjoy.

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