IKEA gives 12,400 bicycles, custom-made, for holiday bonus


IKEA gave all of its employees custom-made bicycles -- but do they support cycling? Image: Wikimedia Commons

For employees (called “coworkers”) of IKEA, today was Christmas bonus day. Rather than a check or a cheese basket, each IKEA employee was given a bicycle. These IKEA employee bicycles were custom-made “combi” bikes, delivered flat-packed.

IKEA employee bicycles

The IKEA employee bicycles were given out as the Christmas bonus to all employees today. These 12,400 bicycles were custom-made for IKEA by an undisclosed company. The bicycles were all silver, with blue and gold and white striping on the downtube of the unisex, mountain-bike-inspired bicycles. The bicycles, of course, came flat-packed with some assembly required for IKEA employees. Reports are that the 12,400 bicycles custom-made for IKEA don’t have the IKEA logo for a very specific reason — the company doesn’t want customers to think they make the bicycles.

Some calling IKEA employee bicycles ‘hypocritical’

In some United States cities, the 12,400 bicycles custom-made for IKEA are being called “hypocritical.” IKEA markets itself as a “life improvement store,” and the company intends this gift to help employees improve their lives. In Red Hook, Brooklyn, however, some see this employee holiday gift with a cynical eye. IKEA has very strongly opposed a bike lane outside the Red Hook store. The company claims that the bike lane would present a risk to both drivers and cyclists coming to visit the store. The company claims that it does strongly support cycling and has bike racks outside every store.

12,400 custom-made IKEA bicycles

Though IKEA is, at its core, a European company, it chose a mountain-inspired American-style bicycle. With an upright stem and bars, the bicycle is very similar to almost any you might see on an American street. It is the hope of the company that the custom-made IKEA bicycles encourage more employees to choose bicycling as a form of transport or recreation.


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