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NEWS
October 1, 2012 | By Karin Klein
If a Saudi company were advertising its home goods in the United States, we would expect its marketing materials to include photos of both men and women, and we would expect most of the women not to have their bodies and hair hidden in the photos. Though there is plenty of diversity in this country, those are the cultural norms. And chances are that because this is a country of ethnic diversity as well, we'd expect the company's catalogs and so forth to show some of that as well. So I am puzzled about the criticism of furniture giant IKEA . If the criticism were for replacement parts that aren't available when pieces break, as they almost inevitably do, or the lightweight quality of the furniture that accompanies its lightweight prices, it would be understandable -- even if it seems almost impossible to furnish a college student's room without a stop at the giant warehouse to consider whether the GAVIK or FILLSTA would make a better table lamp.
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BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Shan Li
Swedish home goods giant Ikea Group is investing in its first wind farm in the U.S., joining a parade of other companies that are venturing into the renewable energy sector. The company purchased Hoopeston Wind, an energy project under construction in Illinois. The wind farm is expected to be up and running by the first half of 2015. Apex Clean Energy, a green power company in Charlottesville, Va., is building and running the project. PHOTOS: World's most expensive cities Steve Howard, chief sustainability offer at Ikea, said the investment will be good for the company's business and the nation's energy independence.
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BUSINESS
April 10, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
When home furnishing giant Ikea selected this fraying blue-collar city to build its first U.S. factory, residents couldn't believe their good fortune. Beloved by consumers worldwide for its stylish and affordable furniture, the Swedish firm had also constructed a reputation as a good employer and solid corporate citizen. State and local officials offered $12 million in incentives. Residents thrilled at the prospect of a respected foreign company bringing jobs to this former textile region after watching so many flee overseas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Alene Tchekmedyian
Swedish furniture giant Ikea got the unanimous green light from the Burbank City Council on Tuesday to build its largest furniture store in the nation in Burbank. The retailer, which opened in Burbank in 1990 as its first store in California and sixth in the United States, will relocate roughly a mile to a nearly 23-acre lot at 805 S. San Fernando Blvd. The megastore is scheduled to open in August 2016, the Burbank Leader reported .Construction is slated to begin this summer, starting with the demolition of the 22 existing buildings on the property which are currently used for office, manufacturing, industrial, warehouse and residential purposes.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
A global federation of labor unions is taking on Ikea over its treatment of workers at the Swedish company's first U.S. factory. Workers at the Danville, Va., plant, which opened in 2008, say they are subject to mandatory overtime, racial discrimination and an aggressive effort by the company to keep out a union. Run by Ikea's manufacturing subsidiary, Swedwood, the factory was the subject of a Times article this month. After a meeting this week in Washington, the International Trade Union Confederation released a statement saying it "has allocated substantial financial resources to make sure that this company acts responsibly in the USA. " The labor group, which says it represents 175 million workers in 151 countries, criticized the difference between Swedwood's treatment of its workers in Europe and those in the United States, where wages and benefits are less generous.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Those labyrinthine IKEA showrooms full of dirt-cheap shelving units have to come from somewhere. According to a report released May 16 by the Global Forest Coalition, some of them are clear-cut from old-growth forests in Western Russia. According to the report, the Swedish nongovernmental organization Protect the Forest and the Russian environmental organization SPOK conducted a field inspection in the Russian Karelia, an area along the border with Finland, and found IKEA's wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood was clear-cutting virgin trees 200 to 600 years old and in areas of “high conservation value.”   The Global Forest Coalition, an alliance of NGOs with members in more than 40 countries, is also supporting a petition drive by Protect the Forest aiming to persuade IKEA to reform the company's logging practices.
NEWS
February 25, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
Horse meat in Ikea's meatballs? Sorry, Charlie (wait, that's tuna), but apparently the Swedish furniture giant is jockeying for position with Burger King, Nestle and Tesco in the tainted-meat derby. My colleague Tiffany Hsu reported Monday that inspectors in the Czech Republic had “found equine evidence in the chain's frozen meatballs. The affected product was sold as a packaged beef and pork item in more than a dozen European countries but not in the U.S.” Nay, you say?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
In response to accusations by European NGOs that IKEA and its wholly owned subsidiary, Swedwood, were engaging in some questionable logging practices in Russia, Ikea is arguing that it has been cutting according to international standards that the company itself helped create. Last week in Greenspace , Swedish group Protect the Forest and Russian group the Karelian Regional Nature Conservancy (which goes by the acronym SPOK) repeated claims that Swedwood is logging old-growth trees and is logging some High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)
BUSINESS
November 29, 1998
It will be interesting to see whether IKEA ["A Retail Revolution Built on Furniture for the Masses," Nov. 8] can strike the right balance between offering cheaper products and retaining consumer interest in self-assembly furniture. Of my first two recent purchases of furniture at IKEA, one had 30 locknuts missing from the package and the other had ill-fitting drawers. The issues of assembly time, potential quality-control problems and a labyrinth-like store layout that makes quick trips to obtain particular items next to impossible may become unpopular with increasingly time-conscious American and European consumers.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2008 | times wire services
Home furnishing company Ikea agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for being slow to report defective outdoor candles, the government said. In May 2006, Ikea recalled 133,000 packages of outdoor candles in the United States. The company had received at least 32 reports of problems with the candles worldwide, including 12 reports of injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Ikea didn't promptly report the problems as the law requires. In the settlement, Ikea denied that it knowingly broke the law.
NEWS
December 5, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Emerald green is so 2013. Say hello to Radiant Orchid, Pantone's color of the year for 2014. Those not familiar with phalaenopsis may wonder: What, exactly, is Radiant Orchid? In the company's annual announcement, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, described the hue as “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones" that "inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. " How much weight do these Pantone predictions carry?
NEWS
October 31, 2013 | By Craig Nakano
At least there's no toilet. Ikea this week is staging a bathroom-as-billboard outside a Paris train station with human actors doing their best to portray the good life and all its flat-packed design splendor. The Telegraph reports that the actors put on a dazzling show of teeth brushing and hair drying for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. The slogan appearing above all this domestic bliss essentially says: "At last a bathroom that rises above. " In other company news, Ikea made national headlines this month when it announced that it would be selling solar panels in Britain.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Within the next year, British shoppers will be able to waltz into an Ikea Corp. store, home to Malm beds and Dinera plates, and buy solar panels. But it might be a while longer before their American counterparts will be able to do the same. The Swedish home goods giant will offer photovoltaic solar panel packages in its 17 British stores within the next 10 months. The systems, from Chinese manufacturer Hanergy Solar Group, will cost roughly $9,200 for a three-bedroom home.
NEWS
August 27, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Vanessa De Vargas of Turquoise Interior Design has decorated and redecorated her tiny 500-square-foot bungalow in Venice in a variety of themes during the last 15 years. When she was going through "a dark phase," she painted the walls steel gray and installed red flocked wallpaper. From that moody place, she moved on to a sunnier, beachy vibe with seaside blue and green accents. The bungalow may be small, but De Vargas said the size does not limit her. It is, in fact, what has empowered her to change designs over and over again.
NEWS
August 6, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Every summer, I regret the loss of the Swedish restaurant Gustaf Anders in Costa Mesa and its annual crayfish festival. Not to mention the Princess cake draped in pale green marzipan.  It won't be the same, but here's the thing: It's just $9.99 per person. Kids 12 and under get in for $2.49. What is it? IKEA's kräftskiva -- an all-you-can-eat Swedish crayfish festival on Friday, Aug. 16.  Note that seating is limited, so if you plan on going, best to buy your tickets now at the closest IKEA store.
NEWS
July 25, 2013 | By L.A. at Home staff
If anyone thinks the old-school catalog is dead, try Googling the frenzy that is the Ikea 2014 catalog. The annual showcase of flat-pack splendor has become its own retail event. The company is releasing its free 2014 Ikea catalog app Thursday and shipping its printed catalog next month, but L.A. at Home writer Lisa Boone, producer Dianne de Guzman and editor Craig Nakano previewed what's new and forthcoming by e-flipping the pages of the digital catalog . Here are three First Impressions of the best, the budget-minded and the surprising.
BUSINESS
July 29, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Workers at Ikea's first factory in the United States have voted to be represented by a union, the latest development in a bitter campaign that has challenged the low-cost home furnishing company's reputation as a worker-friendly employer. Employees at the plant in Danville, Va., voted 221-69 on Wednesday to allow the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to negotiate salary and benefits with the retailer's manufacturing subsidiary, Swedwood, a spokeswoman for the union said.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
You're always telling your mother you owe her. Now, the American Coalition for Labor Reparations has a worksheet you can use to calculate exactly how much back pay Mom deserves. Here's the logic: “Every laborer deserves a wage. Your mother went into labor for you and has never been repaid.” We should mention that the coalition doesn't exist for most of the year - it's a gag dreamed up by ad agency Mother New York. There's even a faux PSA video featuring a crew of mothers - some describing pretty graphic scenarios.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Ikea is heading deeper into the hospitality industry, partnering with Marriott International Inc. to open 150 budget hotels in Europe over the next decade. Ikea's Inter Hospitality Holding, part of the Swedish furniture giant's property division, and Marriott plan to launch the first Moxy Hotel in Milan early next year. The hope is to have 50 sites in development within five years, owned initially by Inter and operated by franchisees. With 150 to 300 rooms each, the hotels are expected to open in major cities in Germany, Britain, Italy, Denmark and more and will fall into the economy-tier, three-star hospitality segment, the companies said.
NEWS
February 25, 2013 | By Betty Hallock
Tests of Ikea meatballs in the Czech Republic that revealed traces of horse meat caused the Swedish furniture giant to pull some of its frozen meatballs off shelves in stores in Britain and in other countries. The 1-kilogram packages of meatballs were made in Sweden and labeled as containing beef and pork, the BBC reported . The BBC said authorities in the Czech Republic found traces of horse meat in the meatballs as part of its testing program. In January, horse and pig DNA discovered in burgers sold to stores and restaurants including British supermarket giant Tesco sparked a scandal in Ireland and Britain that has since spread across Europe.
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