All year long, Ikea has made significant moves to prove to the world it's so much more than a furniture retailer. Ikea's purchase of TaskRabbit was huge. The company has also taken care to draw attention to its tech-enabled products, like these accessories that charge your phone. Unconventional products like pet furniture, bikes, and hydroponic indoor gardening kits now appear in the Ikea catalog.
And now, there's one more piece of just-for-fun news to draw attention to Ikea's tech-savvy and innovative side. The Swedish furniture retailer just gifted all 14,000 of its U.S. employees with HamiltonBuhl VR headsets. Everyone got two -- one for themselves and another to share with a family member or friend. This plays nicely with the recently launched Ikea Place, an augmented reality app for the iPhone that allows you to virtually try out Ikea furniture in your home to see how it looks.
"Ikea understands the world around us is changing, and we are changing too," said Mona Liss, Ikea's U.S. corporate director of PR, "so selecting a gift that represents new ways of viewing the world seemed like a good fit." Past holiday gifts have included tablets, Roku streaming players, and Jawbone UP fitness trackers.
As in previous years, Ikea also made a contribution to their employees' retirement funds. Globally, 123,000 Ikea workers received $113 million total. Ikea's full-time U.S. employees received retirement contributions of $1,403 each, regardless of position or salary. Part-time employees also received a contribution in proportion to hours worked.
All employees who have been with the company for five years qualify for this annual retirement "bonus." The amount is determined on the basis of Ikea's financial performance from the previous year. "No matter where you work in our organization, you are contributing to our success and continued growth," Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson said in a press release. "We believe it's important to recognize our co-workers for their hard work and loyalty, and celebrate our successes together."