Ikea workers gifted bikes

Christmas bicycles given to 12,400 US employees of Ikea, similar to Ikea UK's gesture in 2006.
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The US arm of the Swedish furniture retailer has sent a Christmas 'thank you' to all 12,400 workers: each got a low-spec bicycle.

The bikes were gifted as part of Ikea’s “strong commitment to good health and being environmentally conscious", the company said.

Mike Ward, president of Ikea US, 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. We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport." 

The official press pic of the Ikea bicycle shows a no-name MTB without suspension (phew!) and without mudguards or a rack. The pic perhaps doesn't do the bike justice, but shot against an off-white wall and a grubby floor it's not a very festive photograph.

Chatter on Twitter and on US bike blogs has been critical of the BSO-nature of the bicycles i.e. Bicycle Shaped Objects.

But Kathleen King, a bike artist and blogger said:

"It's a grand gesture and at least sends a good message. We like grand gestures in the ol' US of A, especially if they're economical."

In 2006, Ikea UK gave bicycles to its 9000 workers. Many were placed on eBay within hours of being handed over.

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