Update from CEO Michael Ward on IKEA Canada’s COVID-19 Response and Reopening
To our customers and communities,
It’s been nearly three months since we began this journey, proactively closing our stores nationwide to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 – an unprecedented event for IKEA Canada and the world. Through it all, we’ve focused on the health and safety of our co-workers; the wellbeing of our customers and communities; maintaining the livelihoods of our 7,300 co-workers nationwide; supporting the vulnerable communities most impacted by the virus; and helping you, our customers, live a better everyday life at home.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve welcomed customers back to all 14 IKEA stores across the country. I want to thank our co-workers for their optimism, commitment and resilience throughout this time, and for their hard work in preparing our stores to meet our customers safely. Alongside local health authorities and government, we’ve enhanced health and safety measures across the entire store experience including strict physical distancing, limited store capacities, separation screens around cash and planning areas, PPE for co-workers and even more frequent cleaning and sanitization. For customers who prefer to meet us online, we continue to offer contactless Click & Collect and home delivery via IKEA.ca.
Our homes have always been important to us, and over these past months, they’ve had to take on many new roles, from working at home, learning at home and even vacationing at home. At IKEA, we are driven by a simple, yet powerful vision to create a better everyday life at home for the many and this has never been more meaningful than it is today. IKEA has been in Canada for more than 40-years and to be part of our customer’s lives at home is a unique privilege and one we never take for granted.
Running our business during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges that no one could have anticipated a few short months ago. We’ve seen an unprecedented surge in online orders and at the same time, our normal ways of working have been disrupted. Our co-workers are working actively to fulfil online orders, increase capacities and meet your needs in new ways, all with new health and safety practices at the forefront. Still, we recognize that for some of you, we have not lived up to expectations, with both delays and long wait times. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience caused and are working hard to fix that. We immediately began using our stores as secondary distribution channels and are actively recruiting and cross-training co-workers to catch-up with and meet this new demand. We know there is more to be done and in the coming weeks you will see improvements in the online experience and customer service wait times.
Taking what we have learned, we are looking toward the future for IKEA in Canada. Today, we know our transformation to become more sustainable, affordable and accessible is more important than ever. Throughout these past months, we’ve worked at a rapid pace to transition our business and we will continue to work with that same speed and focus moving forward including:
- Innovating our online shopping experience, ensuring it is convenient, affordable and meets your needs – whenever and however you choose to shop with us.
- Investing in existing store locations and new meeting places, so our shopping environment continues to be inspiring, accessible and most importantly, safe.
- Supporting our communities, especially those most impacted by the pandemic. We’ve committed over $2 million to and so far, our stores have supported over 55,000 Canadians through $1.5 million in product donations to more than 120 organizations.
I would like to personally thank you for your loyalty, understanding and support throughout this time.
CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer