Ikea to axe 350 UK jobs in new city centre strategy

Ikea said it would cut 350 jobs in the UK and Ireland over the next two years as part of its next phase of transformation that includes a focus on city-centre showrooms and its digital strategy.

The Ikea holding group Ingka said it was “accelerating its transformation, stepping up investments in new and existing Ikea stores and fulfilment centres, to better meet the needs of its customers and be more convenient and affordable to many more people.”

The Swedish firm, which recently opened its first city-centre format, the planning studio on London’s Tottenham Court Road, said in the coming two years 11,500 new jobs would be created globally through the opening of an estimated 30 new Ikea “touch points”.

At the same time, Ikea said that 7,500 workers may be made redundant, out of a total of 160,000, mainly focusing on global functions and offices in 30 markets.

Jesper Brodin, chief executive of Ingka, said: “We recognise that the retail landscape is transforming at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before. As customer behaviours change rapidly, we are investing and developing our business to meet their needs in better and new ways.

“We will put greater emphasis on making our existing stores even better and taking the opportunity to renew and reinvent our business in a way that is inspired by our history, culture and values.

“Our values guide our work and build our inclusive, open and honest culture. It’s all based on a spirit of togetherness and enthusiasm and we will continue to transform with that spirit.”

Ikea new mega-stores in Sheffield and Exeter this year and Ikea Greenwich will open its doors in spring 2019, creating 500 new jobs.

Ikea confirmed that it would open further KBB showrooms in London, before expanding that strategy in the rest of the UK.

“While the opportunities ahead of us are exciting, we know that some of the changes won’t always be easy and in some cases, we will have to make difficult decisions,” said Javier Quiñones, Ikea UK and Ireland country retail manager.

“Co-workers are at the heart of our business and throughout this transformation we will have an ongoing dialogue on how to navigate these changes, to ensure we do this in a way in line with our values and ensuring that our co-workers feel supported.

“We are confident these changes will secure the future of Ikea and will benefit its customers and ultimately its co-workers.”

  • Pictured above: Ikea planning studio on London’s  Tottenham Court Road.
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