IKEA gives employees a day's profits
October 10, 1999
From Correspondent Frank Buckley
ELIZABETH, New Jersey (CNN) -- IKEA, the worldwide Swedish home furnishings store, gave its employees an unusual bonus Saturday -- it turned over all of the day's profits to them.
Profits generated Saturday from all 152 IKEAs -- including those in the United States, from Virginia to Burbank -- will be divided among the store's 40,000 employees.
One New Jersey company gives its employees BMWs to drive as long as they stay with the company. Others offer stock options or child-care services.
"It was just an honest way to say thank you," said Jan Kjellman, IKEA's North American division president, of the giveaway.
Kjellman said every employee, from part-timers to division heads, would get his or her share of the day's store receipts.
"I'm a co-worker myself and I love it too," Kjellman said.
Employment experts say companies have to stand out to attract and keep talented workers.
"It really is an employees' market out there," said Gail Corvette, with Hewitt Associates.
"Companies are competing for talent, so whenever somebody can do something innovative and creative that will get employees' attention and help share the company's success with employees, it should get noticed," Corvette said.
The IKEA event got the attention of employees at its store in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
"I'm all excited," said one IKEA employee there, contemplating her bonus. "I'm ready for my vacation."
IKEA predicted its stores would bring in $45 million to $60 million Saturday. That would amount to at least $1,500 for each of the company's employees.
The company also offered customers free chocolate and complimentary massages, and extended store hours.
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