The Swedish furniture and home furnishings giant have opened more than 420 stores in over 50 countries, since being founded in 1943 by the then 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad.
Not a Scandinavian word as many think, IKEA is actually an acronym made from the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born and the nearby village Agunnaryd where he was raised.
Since the company’s origins on the kitchen table of Kamprad’s uncle, the enormous business has gone on to dominate home furniture and decoration sales, with a move into kitchens also hugely successful.
IKEA have been in Britain since 1987, when the chain opened an outlet at the Gemini Retail Park in Warrington.
In 2019, IKEA recorded a revenue of €41.3billion and is now by far the UK’s favourite destination for shoppers looking to improve their homes.
However, some have threatened to boycott the store and reacted with outrage, as the Swedish superstore chain announced plans to slash sick pay.
Why are people boycotting IKEA?
A vocal minority on social media are threatening to boycott IKEA because the retailer says it will pay £96.35 a week to unvaccinated employees who are self-isolating, rather than the average £400 of a worker on the shop floor.
IKEA employs over 10,000 in the UK and has promised to listen to mitigating circumstances for those who are not jabbed.
Some believe this is an infringement on civil liberties, while others see this is a positive step to encourage the Covid-19 unvaccinated to get protected.
In countries across the globe, companies have insisted staff get vaccinated or else pay monthly fines or face the sack. United Airlines, Google and one of the largest banking groups in the world, Citigroup, have all fired staff for their anti-vax stance.
Vaccine mandates in New York also saw the National Guard step in due to staff shortages.
UK healthcare workers have had to be jabbed since November, 2021.
Meanwhile, across the Channel, French president Emmanuel Macron pledged to ‘p*ss off’ the non-medically exempt unvaccinated.
For companies looking to take a tough stance on those who refuse to get jabbed, there is a problem.
UK employment law protects against discrimination and gives employees stronger protections than those in the US.