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Ikea will “reduce” the operations of Russia and Belarus on the war in Ukraine

Swedish furniture giant Ikea announced on Wednesday that it would “reduce” its operations in Russia and Belarus, after suspending them following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Along with a slew of Western businesses, Ikea announced in early March that it was suspending its Russian and Belarusian operations, affecting nearly 15,000 employees.

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“Unfortunately, circumstances have not improved and the devastating war continues,” Ingka Group, which runs the majority of Ikea stores, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Businesses and supply chains across the world have been heavily impacted and we do not believe it is possible to resume operations any time soon,” the company said, adding that it and the Inter Ikea Group had “decided to enter a new phase to further reduce Ikea’s business in Russia and Belarus.”

The group said retail “will remain at a standstill and the workforce will be reduced, which means many colleagues will be affected”.

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Ikea has a total of 15,000 employees in Russia, including 12,500 employed by the Ingka Group, the company said.

A spokesman for Ingka Group said the company was not yet able to provide details on how many people would be made redundant.

The company added that it plans “to sell its furniture inventory in Russia” and that the production side in Russia will “reduce the workforce and begin the process of finding a new owner for the four factories”. .

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Two purchasing and logistics offices in Moscow and Minsk would also be permanently closed.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with the triggering of unprecedented sanctions, has triggered an exodus of foreign companies such as H&M, Starbucks and McDonalds.

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