A message from IKEA Retail U.S. President Javier Quiñones to the many people
May 31, 2020
At IKEA, we believe that equality is a human right, and that everyone has the right to be treated fairly—but it’s time we acknowledge that this hasn’t been the case for African Americans and many others in the U.S. Many of us are hurting in light of the most recent incidents of inhumanity and inequality. Unfortunately, this is not a new issue, as we have seen time and time again the unfair and harsh treatment of African Americans across the country. Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd have been added to a long list of names that will be embedded in our hearts and minds as we wrestle with the devastation this has created in our communities.
IKEA condemns in the strongest possible terms all forms of racism and prejudice. And while we do not condone acts of violence of any kind, we understand how years of harassment and persecution can manifest in the outrage we are seeing today.
We know many of you view IKEA as “a Swedish company,” but we’ve been in the U.S. for 35 years now and have 18,000 co-workers about whom we care deeply. We have a responsibility to create an environment where every co-worker feels safe, included, and valued. This doesn't mean that we must agree on everything, but we will always respect each other. In the next few days, we will be in constant conversation with our leaders and co-workers to determine the best way forward and how we can help rebuild communities—many of which have already been impacted by COVID-19.
In the meantime, we will not compromise the safety of our co-workers and customers and have suspended operations at our IKEA Twin Cities store in Bloomington, in addition to stores in other areas that have been affected.
Our vision has always been to make life better for the many people—and as hard as that may seem today, we remain steadfast in that mission now. Together, let's focus on leading by example, demonstrating how acceptance, care, and respect for our differences make us stronger.
IKEA Retail U.S. President