In response to the conflict in Ukraine, Swedish furniture giant Ikea announced on Thursday that it would cease operations in Russia and Belarus, affecting approximately 15,000 employees, 17 shops, and three manufacturing facilities.
“The conflict has already had an enormous human cost. It’s also causing major supply chain and market conditions disruptions. Ikea has chosen to temporarily halt operations in Russia for all of these reasons,” the business stated in a statement to AFP.
The suspension mostly affects Russia, where the Swedish conglomerate has been since 2000 and is one of the major Western employers.
According to Ikea, operations in Belarus would be terminated as well, despite the fact that the country only has a few suppliers and no stores.
“The horrific war in Ukraine is a human tragedy, and our sincerest sympathy and concerns go out to the millions of people who have been affected,” the business said.
“These decisions will directly affect 15,000 Ikea coworkers, and the corporate groups will ensure job and income security, as well as provide support to them and their families in the region,” Ikea said.
While the Ingka group’s stores employ the majority of the impacted workforce (12,000 people), Ikea also employs roughly 2,500 people in manufacturing, with three facilities in Russia.
According to the corporation, the move will affect 47 Russian suppliers and 10 Belarus suppliers, as well as halting imports and exports between the two nations.
Ikea had previously stated that it will keep its stores open in Russia, which drew criticism in Sweden.