Ikea will pay a total of 110 million euros ($128 million) in bonuses to employees worldwide as reward for their work during the pandemic, Ingka Group, the company that operates most Ikea's stores, said Friday.
The group said the coronavirus crisis forced it to move much of its brick-and-mortar business online, even as sales remained robust with more people in lockdown buying furniture and housewares.
"The pandemic put us into a situation that I think none of us really were prepared for," Ulrika Biesert, a manager at IKEA Retail, told AFP.
"We went from mostly being an offline business to an online business within two weeks."
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The holding company that controls the majority of Ikea's stores, Ingka, said the bonuses would be paid to employees across all markets and vary depending on salaries.
It would be added to the general annual bonuses employees receive based on the company's annual performance.
Biesert said the bonus was a thank you to employees for "redirecting our business to try to serve the customer in the absolutely best way".
Ingka has weathered the Covid-19 crisis relatively well, despite a drop in profits for its September 2019 to August 2020 financial year.
The negative impact of lockdowns was largely offset by additional consumer spending on home furnishing, according to Ingka.
For its latest financial year to August 2021, the group announced a six-percent boost in revenue, driven largely by online shopping.
Throughout the year, the franchise said, it has seen "higher demand for workplace furniture, outdoor furniture and storage solutions", as a result of the pandemic and the rise in remote work.
Ingka, which is due to publish more detailed results on November 30, however expects to suffer shortages due to supply issues until 2022.It operates 389 Ikea stores in 32 markets around the world and employs more than 170,000 people.