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What will happen to the goods, employees and shopping centers? We answer questions about the departure of Ikea from Russia
15 June, 17:52
What will happen to the goods, employees and shopping centers? We answer questions about the departure of Ikea from Russia
Photo: Ikea.com
Today, June 15, Ikea finally announced its withdrawal from Russia. The company gathered the collectives of its factories and stores, where it announced that from September most of the employees would be laid off and the assets sold.

Novye Izvestiya figured out what would happen to the staff, goods from Ikea and the Mega shopping center.

Alexander Dybin

Is IKEA going away?

The company itself said that they put the business on pause. Since March 3, chain stores in Russia and Belarus have not been working.

“Over the past few months, the situation with business processes and supply chains around the world has deteriorated greatly. In view of this, we do not see the possibility of resuming sales in the foreseeable future. As a result, the Inter IKEA Group of Companies and the Ingka Group of Companies decided to reduce the scale of their business in Russia. This is a difficult decision, but we believe that it is necessary, - the IKEA press service told Novye Izvestia, - IKEA's retail business in Russia remains on pause. This decision will entail optimization, which will also affect many employees".

How many people work at Ikea, and where will they go?

It was reported that about 15 thousand people worked in shops, warehouses and enterprises of the Swedish network. Of these, about 3,000 are employees of three woodworking enterprises in Tikhvin, Vyatka and Novgorod. Today they were informed that they will receive their salary until September, and that medical insurance will remain until that time. And from September, most of the team will be asked to leave by agreement of the parties, having received 7-8 salaries in the form of compensation. Plants will be sold. The same is true for employees of stores and warehouses, who were told about some "individual conversations" that will begin closer to September.

"Inter IKEA in Russia will reduce the staff at its own production facilities and begin the process of finding new owners for all four factories in the Leningrad, Kirov and Novgorod regions", - the company said.

Alexander Illarionov , the organizer of the timber industry trade union, told Novye Izvestia that there is a lot of work ahead for the rights of employees of enterprises and shops.

“Transnational corporations have already left Russia, for example, Ford, and then it had big problems with downsizing, this is a long and complicated procedure, then the company came up with the idea of “paying off” employees by paying several salaries, - the expert says, - the same way waiting for Ikea, but there are tasks for the trade union. Firstly, employees who are not fired, but transferred to the new owner along with the enterprise, will require certain guarantees of the level of wages and working conditions, the new owner will not be able to cancel these agreements. Those who will be laid off will insist on 12 salaries, this is a real option".

Ikea products remained in Russia, what will happen to them?

They will be sold. According to Novye Izvestiya, store employees will be able to buy something from the stock until July, then there will be an online sale available to everyone. It was reported that some of the goods will be resold on marketplaces. Back in March, the announcements about the resale of plush sharks from Ikea, for which they asked for many times more than their cost, became a reason for jokes. Apparently, we are waiting for a new wave of such announcements.

What will happen to TC "Mega"?

Ikea owns 14 Mega shopping centers in 11 regions of Russia. The company said they will continue to work. But market participants believe that they are also looking for a buyer. Earlier in Russia, the McDonalds chain and Renault factories changed their owners. Something similar can happen in the case of Mega.

Denis Ni, the head of Yellowstone development, believes that finding a new investor will not be easy, as the situation is too turbulent.

“Now we see that all commercial projects that are not related to housing have been put on hold, documents are being prepared, some preparatory work is underway, but no one is investing money,” the expert says, “everyone is waiting for some kind of reference point, some then the Rubicon, so that there is clarity. This is important for any investment. I think it will be difficult to replace such a format as Mega has, and it will not be possible to repeat it. But on the other hand, these buildings can become a kind of analogue of a covered market, while a modern warm building, parking. And local small businesses, which are not afraid of sanctions, will be able to work there. They will bring goods in trunks from everywhere. Instead of one Ikea there will be 1000 local merchants. And there will be no competition with online trading, since in such a market you can buy something that is not officially sold. On the other hand, if we talk about the fate of these facilities, then this is a ready-made light industrial building, suitable for locating production facilities without establishing sanitary zones".

Stanislav Akhmedzyanov, managing partner of the IBC consulting company, believes that Mega shopping malls in Russia will remain in demand among buyers.

“Assets will not wither, they have the best tenants, these are quality complexes in the right places and they will be popular. Ingka, which manages the Mega shopping center network, was the No. 1 rentier company, its turnover reached $ 1 billion, the expert says, it is illogical to build your network for 30 years and then leave. I think that if there is a sale, then with the condition of a buyback - a buyback. This is normal practice. It is difficult to name the amount of such transactions, since the situation is forced for the company, the sale can be for a nominal ruble, but with a buyback condition. What will happen to the areas of Ikea stores is also not clear yet, it can be rented out for city warehouses of the “last mile”, but this is nonsense compared to what this company did.”

Evelina Ishmetova, the founder of the School of Developer, director of consulting and development at KEY CAPITAL, believes that there are several ways in this situation. Instead of Ikea, it can become like an existing similar brand, a new one will be created for this niche, or a new foreign player will enter.

“I don't think there will be any drastic changes in the concept, most likely there will be an attempt to find a replacement for the tenant. Either from the companies present, or someone will create a new player for the vacant niche, or a Chinese or Turkish brand will come in, she says, I think everything will become clear in the weather. There is an option to close these areas altogether while negotiations are underway, or use them as a warehouse. But this is a temporary option, since the warehouses will not be able to pay the money that Ikea paid. I'm sure the malls themselves will be sold. The price will depend on how quickly Ikea needs to leave and report back. Now all market participants say that there is a demand for large premises, there is a situation with the redistribution of resources and the need to “park” money somewhere. At the same time, there is no supply of quality objects. A variant is possible as with McDonald's, when the investor changes, but the team remains. Mega had a strong team and the new owners would be fools if they didn't leave it".