The Chainlink

From: http://bikeportland.org/2010/12/07/see-the-bike-ikea-just-gave-all-...

See the bike IKEA just gave all 12,400 of its U.S. employees

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 7th, 2010 at 2:50 pm



A family ride to IKEA-2.jpg
Every IKEA employee in the U.S. now
owns a bicycle. See which one below.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As you might have already heard, global furniture retailer IKEA gave out a free bike as a thank you gift to all 12,400 of their U.S. employees today (including 350 of them at
the Portland location).

In a statement about the gifts, IKEA US President Mike Ward said:

"It's been a good year for IKEA, so what better way to celebrate our success than to thank our IKEA co-workers who made this happen. Our big reveal today will be a fun day as we unload 12,400 new
bikes at IKEA US locations. This is our way of saying 'thanks IKEA
co-workers for being strongly committed to working together.' We hope
this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a
healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport."

Given IKEA's European roots, I was very curious what type of bike they'd hand out. From the photo below (supplied by their PR firm), it looks like they went with something more typical of the American market.
The bike has a mountain-bike inspired frame, an upright stem and bars,
and a triple-chainring up front. I can't tell the make or model because
the frame has been customized with IKEA colors on the downtube.

(Photo: IKEA US)

It's great to see a large company like IKEA make such big statement about the benefits of bicycling. Hopefully other companies will follow suit. The savings in employee health claims alone will likely make this
a very smart investment.


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It certainly would have been nice to see a more commuter friendly bike being give out, but at least it's something! Maybe next they could encourage their stores to lobby for easier bike access in the suburban messes where most of their stores are located. Right now I'd be kind of scared to ride my bike to an ikea store.
Looks like a cheap made-in-China piece of crap.
Fits well with the cheap made-in-China crap they sell in their stores
Probably should have gave their people the $$$ and an option to by the bike at wholesale. Seem more like a PR move.
"Our big reveal today will be a fun day as we unload 12,400 new
bikes at IKEA US locations."

They couldn't sell them? So they got to unload them? I would have used "give away"

I'm sure there will be a flood of these things on C/L next week.
The savings in employee health claims alone will likely make this
a very smart investment.


This is a rather dubious claim on a number of fronts. I'd be inclined to believe that the majority of the costliest health insurance claims are related to medical conditions that riding a bicycle cannot alleviate or prevent by any stretch of the imagination. Additionally, that is a profoundly crappy bicycle. If there's anything aside from a serious crash that most effectively deters a person from riding, it's having a profoundly crappy bicycle. Color me unimpressed.
It's not quite a museum piece or collectors item but at least it encourages their employees to get out and be active whether it is commuting or on their own time. It's going to be interesting to see how they play this out... Maybe they are going to encourage people to bike to their stores and provide free delivery to those that do?

Evan from Climate Cycle
There is a bike path running along McConnor Pkwy and along a lot of Meacham ...
http://tinyurl.com/28mqcpc



M.A.R.K. said:
That is what I was thinking..

Plus the IKEA here in Schaumburg does not have any access by bike being bordered by 2 Hwys., Golf to the South and Meacham to the west, both of which are like expressways. Well at least Meacham is.



Duppie said:
Looks like a cheap made-in-China piece of crap.
Fits well with the cheap made-in-China crap they sell in their stores
I don't feel like digging for any supporting articles right now, but IKEA does have a history of only considering accessibility to major highways when choosing new sites. There was one about 10 years ago that they wanted to open relatively equidistant to several secondary British cities (with the idea that -everyone- has to drive there, of course) but the local government asked that IKEA help pat for some of the automotive infrastructure that would move customers to and from their store, and IKEA promptly lost interest.
About 8 years ago IKEA was looking for a second site in Chicago; some may remember that they were initially looking at the Elston/Armitage area but it was shot down because it was thought the infrastructure would not be able to handle the car traffic; shortly therafter it was reported that they were lookinig at 33rd/Damen where ultimately a Target was built-- easy on/off to the Stevenson; ultimately they claimed that the city was not willing to offer adequate incentives; they ended up putting that store outside of Minneapolis instead (hey-- you could probably make the trip in 5 1/2 hours if you didn't stop, right?).
The Orange line actually crosses the property they were looking at at 33rd/Damen-- imagine what a gesture it would be if they helped fund a stop =inside= IKEA.
Shortly thereafter it was confirmed that IKEA was supposed to be part of the Rez-Mar development at Roosevelt/Clark, but that crashed and burned. Same deal-- the red and orange lines meet on that property I think-- they could have had a transfer station attached to the store.



jamimaria said:
It certainly would have been nice to see a more commuter friendly bike being give out, but at least it's something! Maybe next they could encourage their stores to lobby for easier bike access in the suburban messes where most of their stores are located. Right now I'd be kind of scared to ride my bike to an ikea store.
H3N3 said:
Shortly thereafter it was confirmed that IKEA was supposed to be part of the Rez-Mar development at Roosevelt/Clark, but that crashed and burned. Same deal-- the red and orange lines meet on that property I think-- they could have had a transfer station attached to the store.

I remember that one. The dealbreaker was that the city wanted them to build a store with the parking deck on top or underneath (like a lot of new Targets do). Their complaint was that it would take too long. So they decided to build in Bolingbrook instead
One of their New York locations tried to block bike lines in front of their store.

Total PR move, the bikes look like pure crap you could buy at Wally World for about 60 bucks which means this probably cost IKEA about 20 bucks per employee.


H3N3 said:
I don't feel like digging for any supporting articles right now, but IKEA does have a history of only considering accessibility to major highways when choosing new sites. There was one about 10 years ago that they wanted to open relatively equidistant to several secondary British cities (with the idea that -everyone- has to drive there, of course) but the local government asked that IKEA help pat for some of the automotive infrastructure that would move customers to and from their store, and IKEA promptly lost interest.
About 8 years ago IKEA was looking for a second site in Chicago; some may remember that they were initially looking at the Elston/Armitage area but it was shot down because it was thought the infrastructure would not be able to handle the car traffic; shortly therafter it was reported that they were lookinig at 33rd/Damen where ultimately a Target was built-- easy on/off to the Stevenson; ultimately they claimed that the city was not willing to offer adequate incentives; they ended up putting that store outside of Minneapolis instead (hey-- you could probably make the trip in 5 1/2 hours if you didn't stop, right?).
The Orange line actually crosses the property they were looking at at 33rd/Damen-- imagine what a gesture it would be if they helped fund a stop =inside= IKEA.
Shortly thereafter it was confirmed that IKEA was supposed to be part of the Rez-Mar development at Roosevelt/Clark, but that crashed and burned. Same deal-- the red and orange lines meet on that property I think-- they could have had a transfer station attached to the store.



jamimaria said:
It certainly would have been nice to see a more commuter friendly bike being give out, but at least it's something! Maybe next they could encourage their stores to lobby for easier bike access in the suburban messes where most of their stores are located. Right now I'd be kind of scared to ride my bike to an ikea store.
Everyone here is making similar statements to the comments from the bikeportland website where I found the news.

Obviously IKEA can't sneak this past the savy bicycling community :)

When I read the headline initially I was happy, then I saw the bike and I was sad, because the bikes are not commuter type bikes. It might be a lot of work for some people to find accessories to make it a commuter bike, let alone bike to the store. Couldn't IKEA have consulted a biking organization?

Nice try, IKEA...but you gave out a bike that is much like your furniture: nice looking, but not for the long-haul. (As I write from a laptop resting on an IKEA coffee table.)
I think it's hilarious that it's a frame that resembles a Wal Mart Next-brand full-suspension mountain bike, but it looks to be entirely rigid. Maybe they're onto something : )

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