An Update on Our Actions in Response to COVID-19
IKEA Retail U.S. To Bring Back All Furloughed Co-Workers
Update as of May 22
We know the recent weeks have been challenging, and we are grateful for the optimism, resilience, and togetherness of our 18,000 co-workers during this exceptional time. Our priority from the beginning has been to protect as many livelihoods as possible while we evaluated the needs of our business. Today, I am so happy to share an exciting update on our plans.
Starting today, we will begin bringing back all IKEA Retail U.S. furloughed co-workers to support our business in various capacities, including online order fulfillment, remote customer service, and training. Co-workers will be contacted by location managers to discuss the details of their return. Once reinstated, co-workers will resume their employment status and receive compensation and continued benefits from IKEA Retail U.S.
Your health and well-being continue to be our priority, and it is essential that you feel safe and secure, both mentally and physically, when returning to work. We have put additional safety and support measures in place in all units:
- We have increased the frequency of surface cleaning and sanitization.
- We have trained social distancing officers to ensure a safe physical distance between co-workers at all times.
- We will implement mandatory temperature checks at the beginning of each shift.
- We will provide the PPE and supplies our co-workers need to work safely, including hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks.
It is important that we have our co-workers in place as we continue to roll out Click & Collect for curbside pick-up and work towards a goal of beginning to reopen our stores to customers as early as June. We are basing all our decisions on what is best for our co-workers and customers, taking guidance from state and local authorities and information provided by the CDC.
We are extremely grateful to be able to welcome everyone back to work, and I look forward to the day when I can personally visit the stores and share a massive thanks for your patience and trust during this time.
I’ve said this before, but our future is bright—and it just got even brighter today!
Stay safe and well,
Update as of May 11, 2020: In order to better serve our customers who are looking for affordable home furnishings solutions, we have made the decision to gradually roll-out Click & Collect for curbside customer order pick-ups at select stores. We are using guidance from the CDC and state authorities to ensure that opening in this capacity is safe for co-workers and customers within the context of the local COVID-19 situation. Please visit your local store page to see if your store is offering this service.
At IKEA, we are guided by a vision to create a better life for the many people. Now more than ever, we want to put our values into action to help co-workers and customers adjust to the new realities of life. We know this hasn’t been easy, and there are many challenges we will face in the coming weeks and months. We will all face dilemmas and difficult decisions. No matter what happens, we will always come back to our main commitment—to act in the best interests of our co-workers and the many people.
Securing the livelihoods of our co-workers
Our priority is and has always been to take care of our 18,000 co-workers—to secure their livelihoods and ensure that they continue to be supported with benefits for as long as possible—in a way that we believe is fair and equitable.
We have carefully considered many different scenarios, including how we operate our business during this crisis and the financial support options from the government that are available to individuals and families who have been impacted. Even though the majority of our stores have been closed since March 16, we have been able to provide income stability for all co-workers with 100% pay through April 18.
Given that our store locations must remain closed until further notice, we have made the decision to furlough hourly U.S. co-workers in store locations and our Service Office effective April 19, 2020. This will allow our hourly co-workers, who are no longer able to work due to closures, to apply for expanded unemployment benefits. IKEA will continue to provide furloughed co-workers with benefits, including medical and prescription benefits from IKEA through May 31, 2020, and will pay their co-worker contribution. Our goal is to be able to gradually welcome back our furloughed co-workers as soon as it is safe to resume business.
Ensuring safety & wellbeing
We are committed to ensuring the health, wellbeing and safety of our fulfillment co-workers who are supporting our ecommerce business in the U.S. during this critical time. We have added additional safety measures in our units to now include social distancing officers and increased surface cleaning, and we are currently rolling out temperature checks. Our fulfillment co-workers are supported with access to an additional 80 hours of emergency sick pay and flexible work arrangements, which enables them to care for themselves and/or their family members who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, co-workers who fall into a high-risk category may access the additional 80 hours of emergency pay. We also have offered pay for up to 10 shifts for co-workers that are facing child-care issues due to school closures. We will provide free meals every day for every shift to all fulfillment co-workers on site using local caterers, where available.
Caring for our community
We recognize the role we can play in helping the many people during the crisis. Therefore, IKEA will donate products and supplies valued at $1.6 million to support relief efforts across the U.S. We will contribute a combined total of $1 million worth of product to the American Red Cross, Departments of Health in the most-heavily impacted states as identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local nonprofits in our neighboring communities. We have worked with our partners and local government agencies to identify critical needs such as blankets, bedding and storage solutions for blood drives, temporary hospital and shelters. To support longer-term needs, we have allocated $600,000 to work with our stores and distribution units to assist with local efforts to relieve homelessness and isolation.
Giving customers solutions for Life at Home
Keeping our ecommerce business operational not only enables us to care for our co-workers and our community, but it also allows us to continue to meet the needs of our customers who are discovering a new meaning to life at home. We see our customers looking to IKEA as an inspirational source for home furnishing and solutions, as they are spending more time at home. Ecommerce will be the cornerstone of our business while our stores are closed to the public, and we are also taking immediate steps to improve the online experience for our customers and introducing new services such as contactless deliveries. Please click here for the latest information on our services and policies.
Securing our future
We need to protect the business, so that we can continue protecting our co-workers now and in the future. As soon as the situation improves, we hope to gradually resume our Click & Collect and Click & Deliver operations and then bring back many of our furloughed co-workers to work.
We are continuing to evaluate the needs of our business today, while anticipating the future of IKEA so we can make it through this crisis together – and reemerge stronger than before.
President of IKEA Retail U.S.