IKEA president talks about affordability—for its workers as well as customers


IKEA Canada organized an in-person event earlier this month to present its IKEA Canada Summary Report 2023. The report highlights the company’s ongoing growth and its commitment to making affordable, quality home furnishings that are accessible to Canadians.

Selwyn Crittendon, IKEA Canada’s CEO and chief sustainability officer, offered some highlights from the report that reflect how the company has grown over the past year in this country. Crittendon told the audience in a downtown Toronto event space about the company’s solid growth, which included a sales increase of 10.9 percent to $2.9 billion for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, and an increase in national store visits of 6.3 percent to 28.6 million.

Much of Crittendon’s presentation centred around IKEA’s concern for keeping products affordable for Canadian consumers. But he also directed his concern—and his comments—to the wellbeing of his own workforce.

IKEA Canada’s hiring and recruitment efforts have purposely focused on attracting new Canadians, people who have arrived here seeking not just a new job, but a new life. Crittendon shared with pride the many cases of longevity among workers within the company, saying people who have worked for 30 and 40 years at IKEA reflect the commitment the retailer makes to its people. He added that rising costs in recent months have challenged all Canadians, including IKEA employees. The company employs 7,200 people in this country.

Crittendon cited a series of grants that were made available to workers during Covid and through the time of inflation that has plagued the company in recent months. Those grants were worth up to $1,250 per person. “With our co-workers, we’ll always stand beside them in times of need.”

IKEA Canada is about to launch a survey to find out what people want and need in this tough economy. But the survey isn’t going out to customers; it’s being sent to IKEA employees themselves. Crittendon said that the decisions about the company aren’t strictly made at the top only, but require input from the ground level of the company.

“We’re doubling down on our effort to make this the best place to work for our co-workers.”