Ikea is poised to make 350 of its UK and Irish employees redundant in the next two years as part of a global transformation plan.
The Swedish home and furniture retailer said the plan consists of simplifying its operations and stepping up investments in new and existing Ikea stores and fulfilment centres, developing city centre formats, and focusing on its ecommerce platform.
It said 7500 jobs worldwide were expected to be cut across its operations in the next two years, as part of the transformation plan.
Of that total, 350 employees in Ikea’s UK and Republic of Ireland markets are expected to be made redundant.
On the flipside, Ikea said it also expects to create 11,500 new jobs in the coming two years through new openings and investment in delivery and digital operations.
This includes 500 new jobs at the UK’s newest store in Greenwich, south east London, which is slated to open in spring 2019.
At present, Ikea employs 160,000 people across its 30 markets worldwide.
UK and Ireland country retail manager Javier Quinones said the retailer had to make difficult decisions as it adapts to a “fast-changing retail environment”.
“Co-workers are at the heart of our business and throughout this transformation we will have an ongoing dialogue on how to navigate these changes, to ensure we do this in a way in line with our values and ensuring that our co-workers feel supported,” he said.
“We are confident these changes will secure the future of Ikea and will benefit its customers and ultimately its co-workers.”
Ikea recently opened a new Planning Studio concept store on London’s Tottenham Court Road as part of a push towards opening smaller format stores in city centres.
However, in May it ditched plans to build a store near Preston amid uncertainty on the British high street.
Ikea had planned to open the Preston store in 2020, creating 350 jobs.
Jesper Brodin, chief executive of Ikea’s global parent company Ingka Group, said the company had to adapt to changing customer behaviour.
“We will put greater emphasis on making our existing stores even better and taking the opportunity to renew and reinvent our business in a way that is inspired by our history, culture and values,” he said.