16 July 2024, 20:16
By Furniture News Mar 04, 2022

Furniture retailers suspend Russian operations and pledge humanitarian assistance

Furniture retailers IKEA and JYSK are among a growing number of retailers electing to suspend their operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Ikea has paused its operations in Russia and Belarus, closing its stores and pausing all export and import in and out of the countries, while pausing all its production operations in Russia. 

"These decisions have a direct impact on 15,000 IKEA co-workers," states the retailer. "The ambitions of the company groups are long term, and we have secured employment and income stability for the immediate future and will provide support to them and their families in the region."

IKEA has also launched several initiatives together with established humanitarian organisations to support people in the most affected regions.

The IKEA Foundation has announced an immediate donation of €20m for humanitarian assistance to those who have been forcibly displaced as a result of the conflict, in response to an emergency appeal from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. In addition, Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group are initially granting €10m each to provide support in products and other assistance to UNHCR, Save the Children and other organisations working in the local markets.

JYSK temporarily closed all its 86 stores in Ukraine at the outset of the invasion, but has opened a number of stores since because its Ukrainian employees have "expressed a wish to be able to make a positive difference locally".

In neighbouring Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary, JYSK's country management teams are working to secure donations of relevant products to the most appropriate aid organisations.

Dedicated JYSK teams in those countries are also helping to find housing and employment for colleagues fleeing from Ukraine.

JYSK is setting up a fund which all its employees can donate to, and which the country management team in Ukraine will handle. JYSK has donated DKK1m as an initial amount.

On the charitable front, John Lewis Partnership has made a first donation of £100,000 to the British Red Cross directly in support of its Ukraine Crisis Appeal, and has pledged to match donations from customers and employees up to £150,000 made through this link

Retailers including Sainsburys and M&S have also launched charitable appeals. 

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