Following the news this week that the Kinfisher group is to pull out of Spain and Russia, furniture giant Ikea has also announced shedding thousands of jobs in a worldwide restructure.
The Swedish chain of furniture and object stores made the announcement this week that it could eliminate up to 7,500 jobs worldwide in the next two years, within a process of transformation of the company.
However, Ingka Group, the company that accounts for 90% of IKEA’s sales, said that it will create 11,500 new jobs at the same time, in a plan that includes new stores, extensive investments in digitalisation and an increase in capacity.
Seen as some as being a defined moved towards more of a focus on clicks rather than bricks in their sales strategy, IKEA Sweden director Håkan Svedman was somewhat vague in a statement, “We are going to introduce a new organisation, better adapted to satisfy our customers. To make this possible, we need to improve our way of working, directing and organising ourselves”.
Ikea has recently opened an outlet in Torrevieja, located in the Habaneras Centre, but rather than being a large store stocked with thousands of items for the home, it is a minimalist outlet equipped with computers and designers to enable plans to be made for home projects for the items to later be delivered direct.
The Swedish chain reported that not all countries will be affected in the same way by the measures, which will mainly affect central offices and services, and that the impact is expected to be “minimal” in Spain and “almost zero” in the 18 stores that it currently operates here.
In fact, although 7,500 does seem a lot, and of course it is a big deal for each and every one of the workers facing uncertainty, the Swedish group employs some 160,000 staff spread over thirty markets.
IKEA sales increased to almost 39 billion euro in the last fiscal year (September 2017-August 2018), 4.5% more year-on-year.