Ikea’s online sales growth earns global staff a Covid bonus

(Bloomberg) —

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

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

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

Ikea is not the first retailer to reward staff for working in frontline retail positions where they are more likely to be exposed to potential Covid infection during the pandemic. Most of Britain’s biggest grocers, including Tesco Plc, J Sainsbury Plc and Asda Stores Ltd, have already raised bonuses for staff. 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) from an average of around 350 pounds the last year.

In the United States, Walmart Inc. has paid out a series of pandemic-related bonuses since the start of 2020 to workers who helped stock shelves, pack and ship online orders, and serve customers during the pandemic. .

The Swedish company Ingka operates furniture stores in 32 markets. The retailer opened 25 new locations during the financial year and its investment unit earlier this week announced plans to buy an iconic seven-storey building on London’s Oxford Street for £378million.

Read more: Ikea buys Ex-Topshop store in Oxford Circus for $522 million

The site will host one of Ikea’s smaller stores with a format targeting shoppers less able to travel to the larger stores on the outskirts of town that the Swedish retailer is known for.

“Our physical stores, large and small, will always be an essential part of the Ikea experience,” said Peter Jelkeby, country manager for Ikea UK and Ireland.

Ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow next week, Ikea launched its new ‘sustainable living stores’ in the UK on Thursday, aiming to help shoppers wanting to tackle climate change. Shop-in-shops units will feature products that can help consumers use less energy and water, create less water and reduce single use.

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David A. Albanese