IKEA gives free bikes to all its 12,400 US staff - diagrams and Allen key supplied?

Seasonal initiative follows similar gift to UK staff in 2006

by Simon_MacMichael   December 8, 2010  

Ikea staff bike.jpg

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has surprised all of its 12,400 staff in the United States with a seasonal gift of a bicycle. The bikes were distributed to staff at its 37 stores in the country yesterday.

Mike Ward, President of IKEA US, said: "It's been a good year for IKEA, so what better way to celebrate our success than to thank our IKEA co-workers who made this happen.

“Our big reveal today will be a fun day as we unload 12,400 new bikes at IKEA US locations. This is our way of saying 'thanks IKEA co-workers for being strongly committed to working together.'

“We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport."

It’s not the first time the flatpack furniture business has undertaken an initiative of this type. In 2006, it gave a Raleigh bike to each of its 9,000 staff in the UK, although unlike those given to employees on the other side of the Atlantic, the bicycles in this case were folders – perhaps a bit more in keeping with the space-saving ethos that characterises much of the retailer’s range.

IKEA was keen to ensure that the free gift be kept “a total surprise for all co-workers,” adding, “Hopefully, all will stay mum until today/Tuesday, December 7th at 9:30 am (each store’s local time)” – although given the press release went out at 8.30am, Eastern Time, four hours before stores on the Pacific Coast opened, the cat may already have been out of the bag.

The serious message behind the gift is the company’s commitment to sustainable lifestyles – last year, Time magazine named it as one of the planet’s eight most eco-conscious businesses.

However, we won’t be the only people to wonder whether the staff need to assemble the bikes itself, and if so, whether all the required nuts and bolts will be supplied. If not, will they be the kind you can find in the local hardware store or can they only be found at IKEA? At least the latter issue isn’t a problem if you actually work there, we suppose.
 

17 user comments

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Hmm, good idea but maybe it lacks something in execution. I can't say I'd be too chuffed if I was given that clunker in the picture. Going by the rear mech and the pedals, the component quality is bargain basement level.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2468 posts]
8th December 2010 - 10:04

4 Likes

May be they want to cull their staff without paying any redundancy?

Really, though?

posted by workhard [393 posts]
8th December 2010 - 10:12

4 Likes

Test this bike as soon as you can, please...

It must be an in-house design suggestions for an appropriately IKEA name?

Twaart?
Mynger?
Biezzo?

Sadly 'Apollo' is already taken

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [417 posts]
8th December 2010 - 10:17

3 Likes

Is there SRAM Force groupset? It would be difficult to know what to do with this pile of junk if you were given it.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
8th December 2010 - 10:22

3 Likes

i'm liking the full-suspension-without-a-shock style frame Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7716 posts]
8th December 2010 - 10:24

3 Likes

I bet that threaded headset isn't the finest either. I hate threaded headsets. Never had a good one; always caused me trouble.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1398 posts]
8th December 2010 - 11:26

3 Likes

At least the forks are on the right way round!

el.dudino's picture

posted by el.dudino [75 posts]
8th December 2010 - 11:30

3 Likes

Oh, and is that a one piece crank bottom bracket?

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1398 posts]
8th December 2010 - 11:30

3 Likes

so the bike would probably look okay in a shop and people would no doubt be tempted to buy it, only to get it home and find it's a piece of crap that falls apart when you try to use it for its intended purpose?

I wonder where IKEA got *that* idea Big Grin

Barry Fry-up's picture

posted by Barry Fry-up [189 posts]
8th December 2010 - 11:38

3 Likes

Don't be such snobs people. A bike is a bike is a bike Cool I already have a nice one, so if I were an Ikea employee I'd regift it to someone who really wanted it.

posted by kaybee [23 posts]
8th December 2010 - 12:58

2 Likes

Ugly as hell. At least it won't get stolen.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
8th December 2010 - 13:09

3 Likes

That looks like one of those Sunday Supplement £50 bikes. Perfectly respectable, right up to the point where something goes wrong and the repair costs more than the bike...

Do IKEA not run Cyclescheme? Thinking

Chuffy's picture

posted by Chuffy [196 posts]
8th December 2010 - 14:02

4 Likes

Not being snobbish - just think it's so supercheap no-one would want to ride it long and nor would it last anyway. You can get a basic but reasonable bike for a few more quid and something as cheap is this will cost more over its short life.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2468 posts]
8th December 2010 - 15:15

3 Likes

Didn't Ikea hand out folding bikes a year or two back?? There must be a recension on....

DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
8th December 2010 - 16:47

3 Likes

DaveP wrote:
Didn't Ikea hand out folding bikes a year or two back?? There must be a recension on....

In the UK I think. This story is the USA.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1398 posts]
8th December 2010 - 16:48

3 Likes

for all the buying power Ikea must have surly they could have got something a little bit more 'bike' like than some plumbers pipes with wheels.

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1092 posts]
8th December 2010 - 17:24

3 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:
DaveP wrote:
Didn't Ikea hand out folding bikes a year or two back?? There must be a recension on....

In the UK I think. This story is the USA.

*Cough* Fifth paragraph Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9026 posts]
9th December 2010 - 2:00

4 Likes