The Swedish furniture and furnishings giant has opened more than 420 stores in more than 50 countries since it was founded in 1943 by then 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad.
Not a Scandinavian word as many think, IKEA is actually an acronym made up of Ingvar Kamprad’s initials, those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born and the nearby village of Agunnaryd where he grew up.
From the company’s origins on Kamprad’s uncle’s kitchen table, the huge business has continued to dominate furniture and home decor sales, with a move into kitchens also very successful.
IKEA has been present in Britain since 1987, when the chain opened an outlet at Gemini Retail Park in Warrington.
In 2019, IKEA recorded a turnover of 41.3 billion euros and is now by far the UK’s favorite destination for buyers looking to improve their homes.
However, some threatened to boycott the store and reacted with outrage as the Swedish supermarket chain announced plans to cut sick pay.
Why do people boycott IKEA?
A vocal minority on social media is threatening to boycott IKEA because the retailer says it will pay unvaccinated employees who self-isolate £96.35 a week, rather than the average £400 for a worker in the workshop .
IKEA employs more than 10,000 people in the UK and has promised to listen to mitigating circumstances for those not bitten.
Some believe it is an attack on civil liberties, while others see it as a positive step to encourage the unvaccinated Covid-19 to protect themselves.
In countries around the world, companies have insisted that staff get vaccinated or risk paying monthly fines or being fired. United Airlines, Google and one of the world’s largest banking groups, Citigroup, have all fired staff for their anti-vax stance.
Vaccination warrants in New York also saw the National Guard stepping in due to understaffing.
British healthcare workers have had to be bitten since November 2021.
Meanwhile, across the Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to “piss off” the unvaccinated who are not medically exempt.
For companies looking to take a tough stance on those who refuse to get bitten, there’s a problem.
UK employment law protects against discrimination and offers employees stronger protections than those in the United States.