Ikea’s online sales growth allows staff worldwide to earn Covid bonus

Ikea’s largest franchisee is giving more than 170,000 employees a one-time bonus for helping accelerate web sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ingka Group saw the online share of its 37.4 billion euros ($ 43.4 billion) of revenue for fiscal 2021 rise to 30% from 18% a year ago. This growth and staff efforts to quickly adapt stores to the introduction of Covid-19 security measures mean employees around the world will share a total of 110 million euros, according to a statement released on Friday.

The average bonus per worker was not disclosed but will be based on the proportion of total wages in each country and will be paid in January.

“When the pandemic hit, we converted some parts of our stores to fulfillment units within days, so that we could continue to serve our customers via click and collect when so many of our stores were closed,” said Ulrika Bièsert, People & Culture Manager at IKEA Retail (Ingka Group). “Colleagues had to adapt quickly, learn new skills and work under stressful conditions. For this and much more, we wanted to express our appreciation.

Ikea is not the first retailer to reward staff who work in frontline retail positions where they are more likely to be exposed to potential Covid infection during the pandemic. Most of the UK’s biggest grocers, including Tesco Plc, J Sainsbury Plc and Asda Stores Ltd, have already increased staff premiums. Last April, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, Britain’s fourth largest grocer, tripled the annual bonus for staff who received just over 1,000 pounds ($ 1,380) against an average of around 350 pounds. the previous year.

In the United States, Walmart Inc. has paid a slew of pandemic-related bonuses since early 2020 to workers who have helped stock shelves, package and ship orders online, and serve customers during the pandemic. .

Swedish company Ingka operates furniture stores in 32 markets. The retailer opened 25 new stores during the fiscal year and its investment unit earlier this week announced plans to buy an iconic seven-story building on London’s Oxford Street for £ 378million. The site will host one of Ikea’s smaller stores with a format targeting shoppers less able to reach the large outskirts stores the Swedish retailer is known for.

Ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow next week, Ikea launched new ‘Sustainable LivingShops’ in the UK with the aim of helping shoppers looking to tackle climate change. Shop-in-shop units will showcase products that can help consumers use less energy and water, create less water and reduce one-time use.

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David A. Albanese