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.
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.