The furniture giant had foreseen a 70-80% contraction of the business at the beginning of the crisis, while now, with the almost total reopening of the stores, “the demand for household items is greater than expected”
“Now that we know more than in February or March, we decided that the right thing was to say: ‘Thank you, you have helped us in this difficult period and now we are giving you courtesy’,” said Oncu al Financial Times.
To echo Oncu too Olivia Ross-Wilson, communication director of Ingka Group, who wrote on LinkedIn: “In recent months we have faced various challenges, trying to find the right compromise between what is best for people and society and what is best for business. This is why we are now very proud to have started the process of returning the wage support we received during the worst moments of the pandemic to the governments. And even if there are no codified procedures to do so, we will find the way as always “.
The countries from which the company received aid are Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and the United States. Some have already been reimbursed, an Ingka spokeswoman told theAfp, without specifying which, or the sums or methods.
In the midst of the health emergency, 90% of Ikea stores worldwide had to close. However, Öncu said “when the fog started to clear up we saw that the crisis was not as serious as we feared and that it would not last as long as we had expected.” For this reason, returning the subsidies “was the right thing to do . It is important for us to maintain good relations with the societies and communities we are close to. “