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Seasonal initiative follows similar gift to UK staff in 2006

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.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

17 comments

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OldRidgeback [2662 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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workhard [397 posts] 6 years ago
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May be they want to cull their staff without paying any redundancy?

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andylul [410 posts] 6 years ago
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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

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londonplayer [620 posts] 6 years ago
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Is there SRAM Force groupset? It would be difficult to know what to do with this pile of junk if you were given it.

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dave atkinson [6262 posts] 6 years ago
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i'm liking the full-suspension-without-a-shock style frame  1

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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I bet that threaded headset isn't the finest either. I hate threaded headsets. Never had a good one; always caused me trouble.

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el.dudino [73 posts] 6 years ago
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At least the forks are on the right way round!

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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Oh, and is that a one piece crank bottom bracket?

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Barry Fry-up [187 posts] 6 years ago
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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  4

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kaybee [23 posts] 6 years ago
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Don't be such snobs people. A bike is a bike is a bike  16 I already have a nice one, so if I were an Ikea employee I'd regift it to someone who really wanted it.

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simonmb [353 posts] 6 years ago
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Ugly as hell. At least it won't get stolen.

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Chuffy [201 posts] 6 years ago
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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?  39

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OldRidgeback [2662 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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DaveP [412 posts] 6 years ago
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Didn't Ikea hand out folding bikes a year or two back?? There must be a recension on....

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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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.

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Simon_MacMichael [2467 posts] 6 years ago
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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  3