Ikea Gives Out Bikes To 12,400 Employees

While Walmart was busy chipping away at employees’ perks, the swingin’ Swedes at Ikea were busy handing out early Christmas presents to staffers in the form of free bikes.

A company rep says the bikes, which were custom made for the home goods chain, were given out to the company’s 12,400 U.S. employees as a way of saying thanks for “great results and great team work… It has been a good year for Ikea US (and Ikea Global as well).”

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Giving employees bicycles also “supports a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport,” she said.

The silver bikes have a yellow, white and blue stripe, and are all-terrain and unisex.

They don’t have the Ikea logo, however, because “we don’t want people to think we manufacture bicycles.”

Yes, like almost all things Ikea-related, the bike comes flat-packed and requires some assembly. I just hope they gave employees something better than those flimsy little wrenches to use.

Ikea gives bicycles to its workers [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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  1. obits3 says:

    *opens box*

    “Hmm… this is the strangest wheelchair I have ever seen, oh well” :)

  2. ellmar says:

    Did the employees have to assemble the bikes themselves? If so, that’s more of a punishment than a bonus.

    • Larraque eats babies says:

      I’m pretty sure it’s spelled (and pronounced) Beiki and installation is definitely required

    • XxSuntoucherxX says:

      Yes, yes we did have to assemble it to some degree. The front tire assembly needed to go together. Everything else was pre done. I spent the better part of my shift putting those things on for other coworkers.

  3. SG-Cleve says:

    Can they ride them through the aisles of the store?

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Sorry. You must be confusing Ikea with WalMart, where unsupervised children terrorize shoppers.

      • Starfury says:

        That would be my kids in Toys R Us when we were bike shopping…and Target…and Wal Mart.

        They didn’t run anyone over at any of the stores. Just lucky I guess.

  4. Panoptic says:

    I’d rather have a bonus check… or heck, even in-store credit. The components on that bike are all garbage.

    • Weekilter says:

      I love people who rag on companies for doing a good thing. It shows how appreciative they are for good works.

      • Panoptic says:

        How am I ragging on anyone, pray tell? I think it’s cool that Ikea thought to give a gift to their employees, however giving a bike like that to someone who actually enjoys riding a bike is like giving a Yugo to an automotive enthusiast. This is an example of a good idea, poorly executed. Way to read too much into a comment, though.

        • Rena says:

          Know what I’d think if someone gave me a free bike I didn’t want? “Cool, I bet I can sell this for at least $100.” Even if it doesn’t go for much, it’s still free money.

        • CountryJustice says:

          Hey [company I work for], thanks for not being able to know me, personally, fully and wholly, as a unique individual. Please accept–in exchange for this token of your gratitude that I otherwise wouldn’t look twice at–my unappreciative scoffs at your ignorance of one of the subjects in which I hold a certain level of expertise.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    As a gift to consumers, can you please start offering your entire inventory for purchase online, Ikea? PLEASE? I would give you more money if you didn’t make me drive throug hellish traffic and deal with all the people in your extremely busy stores.

    We don’t buy Ikea furniture anymore, but Ikea makes extremely reliable kitchen basics like colanders and spatulas. Ikea sheets and duvet covers are pretty high quality as well.

    • lettucefactory says:

      YES. Agreed. Enthusiastically.

      Ikea stores are a nightmare unless you have the luxury of going on a weekday morning. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to their website in hopes of avoiding the trip, and come away disappointed.

      Sometimes I drive to the store anyway, but more often than not I just end up getting not-quite-what-I-wanted at Target instead. Because I don’t have to fight two hours of traffic and seven million Swedish meatball fueled shoppers in Target.

    • Rose says:

      YES!!!!! We don’t have nice stores like Ikea in Oklahoma. Because we suck. But I don’t suck, and I have the Internet and a credit card. Please, Ikea? Please?

    • jurisenpai says:

      I looove Ikea kitchen stuff – also, their sheets are wearing like iron. I am going to pick up a few sets next time I make the trek. My tip is to get their at store opening: by the time you’re checking out, the crazed masses will just be gearing up.

    • baquwards says:

      agreed! I live over 2 hours from Ikea. I was there this past weekend and had my eye on their top of the line sheet set (only $34, OMG) and they were out of stock on the colors that would have worked for me. I figured that I would go online and order them but alas they don’t carry them online, UGH!

      These sheets had the exact feel that I was looking for at less than half the price of anywhere else.

      I did score a really nice duvet set, exactly what I have been looking for and oh so comfortable.

    • gman863 says:

      I’m not sure how IKEA’s stuff would play online, esp. with customers unfamiliar with their product lines.

      Although functional, a lot of their cheaper items are…well, cheap. As an example, IKEA has a regular size bed pillow labeled “for Stomach Sleepers” for .99 (yes, ninety-nine cents). Unfortunately, “for Stomach Sleepers” translates into “60% less stuffing than Wal-Mart’s cheapest pillow.” (not sure what it was called…maybe TUFLAT (g) )

      The other major online issue would be shipping costs. Not too many people are going to spend $100 on freight for a $60 ready-to-assemble bookcase, nor are they going to pay $10 to ship a $15 lamp. Factoring in these costs, most shoppers would call IKEA online purchases EXPNSIV.

      After a client meeting this afternoon, I confess I blew well over an hour in the Houston store in search of a cheap bookcase for the bedroom. I found what I wanted, so I guess it made the rush hour trip from Hell on the way home worth it.

  6. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Would it be ironic if when it finally came assembly time, all the employees discovered that there were two screws missing from the supplied hardware pack?

    • jessjj347 says:

      But then they had to go over to the “extra parts” section of the store by customer service? I’ve never looked through, but there are seriously bins full of parts.

  7. Power Imbalance says:

    Trash furniture, trash bikes, I see a trend here!

  8. D0rk says:

    It’s not the wrench I dread, it’s the wordless picture instructions with the funny looking cartoon guy that shows up in some of the panes.

    • JayDeEm says:

      I picked up a $20 set of bits for my power drill that replaces every Ikea hand tool I have ever encountered. I actually can’t imagine assembling furniture without it.

  9. Alvis says:

    Those bikes look HEAVY

  10. Hi_Hello says:

    unisex bike??

    I don’t know how small the bike is… but if a girl wearing a skirt have to lift her legs high enough to get on the bike… I don’t think it’s female friendly…

    and can’t all woman bicycle be use by guys…wouldn’t that make it unisex?

    nice gift though.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Are UniCycles UniSex?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If you’re saying the bike is too high up for women to get on the seat without hiking up the skirt, then you’re saying that the bike needs to be lower for women. But if that was the case, wouldn’t the bike be too low for men?

    • jurisenpai says:

      I have a men’s bike and I ride pretty often in a knee-length skirt and leggings or tights. Getting on is no problem. Creepy men trying to look up my skirt, on the other hand…

    • Anri says:

      Women don’t actually wear skirts all the time, so bikes that are inappropriate to ride while wearing a skirt are still unisex…

    • OnePumpChump says:

      I suggest, though I do not recommend, googling the phrase “dildo bicycle.”

  11. TPA says:

    Eh… I’ll take the free personal Asus eee netbooks my company is handing out this year instead.

  12. Noah says:

    My guess is that 75% of the people that work there won’t use it and will be listing it on Craigslist. Some even may be offended because they may interpret the good gesture as a hint that they are getting a little too heavy.

  13. jessjj347 says:

    Yay! I

  14. sopmodm14 says:

    i’m thinking ikea is a great place to work for, and their brand image is pretty solid

  15. CreativeLinks says:

    I guess it beats the Jelly of the Month Club.

    • Bativac says:

      It’s the gift that keeps on givin’ the whole year!

    • theblackdog says:

      That cheap lying no good heartless dickless hopeless sack of monkey shit!

      (sorry, that’s all I can remember right now)

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        “Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?!”

    • humphrmi says:

      That’s pretty low, mister! If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you into a…

    • CreativeLinks says:

      Damn , I love you people.

  16. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    I guess its cheaper to give out Bikes than a dollor an hour extra on Sundays.

    • XxSuntoucherxX says:

      Funny, I said almost the exact same thing when my girlfriend brought hers home last night. Since she complains constantly about that place, and she’s a manager, about the lack of hours -vs- pay. Figure, even if they got a volume discount on those bikes, I don’t see them costing too much less and $75.00 each. Multiply that by the number of bikes given out, and you have about $930,000. Divide that by the number of stores in North America and you get $23,250 (40 stores if you include Canada)
      -That comes out about 1 full timer at their starting wage per store per year, or 2 part timers.
      -It could subsidize tuition reimbursement they took away this year as a benefit
      -It could buy new equipment for the coworker areas in the stores

      I could go on with this. It is better than the gifts they’ve given away in years past, and I won’t knock them for being generous, but when you consider the value of money these days something like this seems a bit misspent.

  17. Tim says:

    Don’t forget to pay income taxes on that …

  18. StevePierce says:

    How long before one show up on eBay for sale?

    • phil says:

      Not long.

      This also likely means a glut of bikes showing up on Craigslist from Ikea employees who decide the gift bike is better than their current bike. Cool: I’ve bee watching local bike listings, waiting for the right bargain…

  19. smirkette says:

    It’s a cute idea, but what does this do for their less-physically-abled employees?

  20. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    New Belgium Brewing Company has been doing that for ages. At your one-year anniversary, you get a sweet New Belgium cruiser.

    Although, I think you should get a New Belgium mountain bike…

  21. Cyclokitty says:

    The bike frame fills me with dread. Odds are that frame is aluminum, the fork maybe aluminum or hi-tensile steel, and there isn’t any flex in aluminum. I’d be worried about how much weight and use that frame could actually handle under normal commuting or recreational riding conditions. I wouldn’t dare to ride off a curb on it.

    It’s a great idea to give employees a chance to commute to work on a bike but too bad they didn’t go with a traditional bike frame.

    • Mina_da_mad_child says:

      Currently in Copenhagen and I’ve seen a bunch of bikes with similiar design. Considering the Danes are bike masters and ride them, with their kids strapped to the back, in the snow, wind, and rain, I’d bet that it’s pretty solid

    • h1dekikun says:

      Nothing wrong with aluminum. The trend in cycling is for less flex, not more. I regularly jump off 5 foot jumps on a very light, very thin walled, aluminum bike. And yes, very stiff.

      That being said, going up in a curb in a bike that costs less than $500 is going to be bad news unless you can bunny hop. And these bikes are definitely less than $500.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      The problem is not the aluminum. My commuter is aluminum with a carbon fork (it’s a road bike).

      However, how would you put a rack on that? How would you commute without adequate space?

  22. Target_OMG says:

    Nice gesture by IKEA. Target wouldn’t give it’s employees the time of day as a bonus.

  23. OnePumpChump says:

    So, um…they’re all the same color. Won’t that make finding your bike in the parking lot a little difficult?

  24. gman863 says:

    Albeit a nice gesture, I doubt this cost IKEA that much.

    You can buy a similar-looking basic bike at Wal-Mart or Academy for $100 or less retail. A few months ago, a friend who is in the wholesale industry pulled up an “Engrish” website of Chiniese manufacturers pitching their wares. Several of the companies were offering to do “well custom manufacture” of full-size bikes for as low as $40.

    The moral: Don’t bitch if all you get from your boss is a $50 bonus – he or she likely spent more on you than IKEA spent on each associate.

  25. Boylerules says:

    This is an irresponsible use of the term “all-terrain.” That bike is NOT meant to be ridden off road. Perhaps on a gravel path, but it is by no means a mountain bike. Why would you have an interrupted seat tube with no rear suspension? This frame was designed to look fancy to the ignorant.

    In my opinion, if you’re giving a bicycle to employees that is meant to be “everyday sustainable transport,” you need to give them a bike with a simple design, a way to attach racks and fenders, and make it well know that it is dangerous to ride bicycles off-road that are not designed for that purpose.