IKEA is to cut thousands of jobs in a huge restructuring as the world’s biggest furniture retailer looks to cope with fast-changing shopper behavior that has hammered brick-and mortar chains globally.
The Swedish flat-pack giant on Wednesday said it would slash 7,500 jobs mainly focused on office-based jobs like communications and human resources.
It also said it would open 30 new stores in city centers, invest in delivery and digital, creating 11,500 new jobs over the next two years. IKEA employs about 160,000 staff.
“The retail landscape is transforming at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before,” said Chief Executive Jesper Brodin.
The restructuring is a rare event for IKEA, which has so far appeared largely immune from the troubles that have hurt big department stores and shopping malls. Retailers selling clothing, homeware, digital appliances, toys and even food have struggled to make up for few visitors to their stores as customers increasingly prefer the bargains and convenience of shopping online. Once indomitable retailers like Sears and Toys ‘R Us have been felled by the shift.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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