Holiday Bonus for U.K. Ikea Employees: 9,000 Free Bikes

The Independent (UK) reports:

Ikea, the Swedish retail chain, showed its green credentials yesterday by giving all 9,000 of its UK workers a free bicycle.  The store handed out the £139 fold-up bike and offered a 15 per cent subsidy on public transport at its Christmas breakfast.

The bicycle is the store’s second high-profile green gesture this year following its decision to introduce a charge for plastic bags and encourage reusable ones. Plastic bag take-up at checkouts is down by 97 per cent.

  • P

    I wonder how many thousands of folding bikes would fit in Ikea’s planned waterfront parking lot in Brooklyn…

  • Rob

    In IKEA’s defense I don’t think people really are able to peddle home with a sofa.

  • P

    Yet probably not the ‘highest and best use’ of waterfront land I would guess.
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2004/10/06/nyregion/06ikea_CA0.ready.html

  • david

    Maybe one could pedal from Ikea to Whole Foods just a few short blocks away….”Green cred”, their whole concept in the U.S. at least is based on urban sprawl.

  • Michael

    Who says people are not able to peddle home with a sofa? Take a look at ttp://www.bikesatwork.com/hauling-cargo-by-bike/hpv-cargo-capacity.html … 🙂

  • ddartley

    regarding sofas on bikes: good job Michael for sharing cargo bike info; the world needs to see that, but the UK Ikea story is that they gave bikes and transit subsidies to *employees,* not customers! They should definitely do something similar in Brooklyn. In fact, I’m going to tell them so right now! I encourage you all to join me.

  • crzwdjk

    No, people won’t be pedaling home with a sofa. But neither can they take a bus with a sofa, and yet IKEA provides a free bus from the Port Authority to their New Jersey store, and the service is in pretty high demand. How does it work? IKEA can, for a fee, deliver your furniture for you.

  • There is also this use for the sofa, albeit not your typical method of cargo transport.

    http://digave.com/videos/index.htm#

  • See entry titled “Couch” on that previously given link. My mistake.

  • Samantha

    And the Brooklyn Ikea is supposed to be hiring a big % of employees from Red Hook and the surrounding neighborhoods. That means most of them would be in biking distance, wouldn’t they?

  • gecko

    It seems that Red Hook with Fairway, the cruise ship dock, and the upcoming Ikea has lots of excess capacity to redesign for sensible human-scale transport. Being on the waterfront provides low-cost freight options. Much of Ikea furniture breaks down to compact packages than can be moved by hybrid human-electric transport and develop ideas and demonstrations on how freight can be moved throughout the city on a human scale that is highly efficient, convenient, and practical. Aggressive development of local urban farms would further show what can be done. The area is also perfect for geothermal retrofits as detailed in NYC DDC’s at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/ddc/html/ddcgreen/geotherm.html which should be promoted a lot more. The rapid economic benefits to locals in the area would show how green can really be green and how responsible sustainable development can make a big difference.

  • v

    nice. ikea and the like could also partner with zipcar. need fewer parking spaces. bike or take a bus, and you can bring the sofa home. fewer parking spots, fewer people owning cars.

  • brent

    I’m all for cargo bikes, but (always the cynic) using them to transport Ikea furniture is like killing the headache by cutting off the head. Their entire business model is based on enormity of scale. They exploit entire regions of forest land, replant a few saplings so’s they can label the packaging ‘from sustainable forests’, ship the raw materials thousands of miles to Asia because cheap labor more than makes up for shipping costs, again by sea then truck to a mega sized box store, at which point the consumer foots the remaining shipping cost. This is like the 3,000 mile ceasar salad; it’s the 15,000 mile ugly disposable funky mod pleather couch. Do what you can to help the environment, but even a handful of conscious Brooklynites biking some stuff home will still mean Ikea is 100% unsustainable.

  • gecko

    It’s good to know who we are doing business with and establish local policies holding them accountable, especially with the large markets of cities providing substantial leverage.

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