איקאה ראשון לציון
IKEA store in Rishon Lezion
Photo: Reuters
IKEA store in Rishon Lezion

IKEA scales down Israel operations, cites changes in consumer behavior

Multinational furniture chain implements streamlining actions, including shortening business hours and offering retirement packages for employees whose furlough has been extended

Merav Crystal |
Published: 06.23.20 , 18:43
Swedish furniture and interior design giant IKEA announced on Tuesday it would be reducing business hours, including remaining closed on Saturday nights.
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  • According to a company statement to employees, starting July 1, the chain's branches will open at 10am and close at 7pm on Sunday through Wednesday, closing three hours earlier than before. The company's stores will continue to operate between 10am to 10pm on Thursdays and between 10am to 3pm on Fridays.
    איקאה ראשון לציון איקאה ראשון לציון
    IKEA store in Rishon Lezion
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Opening hours at IKEA's kitchen sales center at the Tel Aviv Port will remain unchanged.
    The chain is yet to relaunch its shipping website, which is operated by an external moving company.
    "We are witnessing a change in consumer behavior worldwide and in Israel. Recently, we have been trying to learn the new consumer habits and understand their impact on retail in general and on us in particular," IKEA Israel CEO Shuki Koblenz wrote to employees.
    "We see two major changes in consumer habits. First, a focus on "need-based" purchases and second, changes in consumption hours in various markets, which are reflected by a decrease in shopping overall and a significant decrease in evening and night consumption."
    איקאה ראשון לציון איקאה ראשון לציון
    Shoppers waiting observing social distancing outside IKEA store
    (Photo: Reuters)
    IKEA will also reinstate some of its employees who have been put on unpaid leave. Workers, whose furlough has been extended, will be given a retirement package depending on the employee's seniority in the company.
    Company executives claim that the company's streamlining actions will save tens of millions of shekels each year and that the chain aims to reduce the number of employees as much as possible.
    IKEA Israel employed 600 workers before the coronavirus outbreak.
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