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Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group. Credit: Ingka Group

Ingka Group: COVID-19 Community Response

IKEA has long promised to stand by the side of the many people. Today, during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic situation, it is true more than ever.

IKEA touches the lives of millions around the world and every aspect of Ingka Group business is driven and inspired by the IKEA vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people.    

On March 27, Ingka Group announced a grant of €26 million of in-kind donations, allowing the 30 countries in which it has operations, to take more immediate action in their local communities. Ingka Group also announced a series of wide-ranging commitments to help protect the health and livelihoods of those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including communities, customers, co-workers, and its partners. 

“We are guided by a simple, yet powerful vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people. It is forever part of our business and guides us no matter how good or challenging times are. Our focus is now on accelerating the actions we are taking to help the communities most affected and supporting the many people and our partners across the world,” said Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group, in the announcement.

Ingka Group countries are prioritising the needs of high-risk groups and those leading relief efforts by providing provisions such as beds, food and toys to hospitals, medical centers, and shelters. From furniture to gloves to beddings, a range of products have been offered to hospitals in China, Spain, Italy and Sweden, for instance. 

Here’s some examples of how Ingka Group countries are supporting their communities: 

IKEA Retail Belgium: IKEA Zaventem donated beds, mattresses and bed textiles to the community of Zaventem to prepare for the outbreak, alongside donating food to “De Zoekmand” and the Dutch Openbaar centrum voor maatschappelijk welzijn (OCMW). Flowers and plants were given to elderly homes in the Belgian municipality.

IKEA Retail China: 117,000 pieces of various materials were donated by IKEA Retail China to hospitals and relief organization with a total value of about 9.44 million RMB including bed textiles, mirrors, chairs, trolleys that were needed by the hospitals responding to COVID-19 affected patients.

IKEA Retail Czech Republic, IKEA Retail Hungary and IKEA Retail Slovakia: The three countries have allocated over €1 million for immediate help as well as donated beds and mattresses, and linen to hospitals, hospices and homeless people. IKEA Bratislava has helped its city set up 30 homes for homeless people in Slovakia. 

IKEA Retail India: The IKEA Hyderabad store helped set up a quarantine center in a sports hostel facility, near the store with 200 beds, mattress, pillows, pillow covers, tables, chairs, curtains, sponges and water bottles. 

IKEA Retail Russia: IKEA Retail Russia has created virtual meeting places for the community of sports lovers or families with kids who can spend time online together with their friends playing or learning something interesting together. So far, there have been nearly 30 confirmed webinars on topics such as public speaking, home cleaning life hacks and English for kids and four online events for topics including finance for pupils and legal studies.  

IKEA Retail Korea: IKEA Retail Korea donated guest beds and beddings to frontline medical staff and volunteer workers in Daegu (Daegu Medical Center and Dongsan Hospital-Gyemyeong University) who have been working tirelessly for weeks against COVID-19. The company also sent home furnishing products and soft toys to families and children in vulnerable areas, who are now struggling even more due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

IKEA Retail Japan: A first digital job fair was organised with approximately 120 participants from all over the country. IKEA Retail Japan also enrolled in government support programs for subsidies for childcare and support for employees with reduced working hours following closed schools in March.  

IKEA Retail Spain: Medical equipment and IKEA products such as duvets, mattresses, raincoats or coat racks have been donated to hospitals, nursing homes and temporary shelters for the homeless. IKEA Barakaldo is using 3D printers to collaborate with the Coronavirusmakers movement, which brings together volunteers to create material for hospital health personnel.