IKEA’s answer to the 12 August open letter

Statement from IKEA on 23 August 2010

IKEA® is for the many, respecting individuals with different views and opinions. IKEA® stands neutral on political, religious or ethnical views. It is unthinkable for us to exclude any individual or group of individuals from being an IKEA® customer. We welcome all people to the IKEA® stores, independent of religion, ethnic background or where they live.

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the worldwide franchisor of the IKEA Concept and the owner of the IKEA brand. IKEA operations are today carried out in 314 IKEA Stores in 38 countries including Israel and a number of Arabic countries. All IKEA operations are carried out under franchise from Inter IKEA Systems B.V. and focus on serving the customers irrespective of religion and ethnicity. This is also valid for our local franchisee in Israel – Northern Birch Ltd – which is an independent company operating the two IKEA Stores in Israel.

The IKEA Concept is the same all over the world. It is a retail concept for selling furniture and home furnishings from an IKEA store, i.e. it is not a mail order or e-commerce concept. One of the fundamentals of the IKEA Concept is immediate take away and cash and carry. An essential part is that the customers themselves bring home the products they bought in the store. IKEA customers who have purchased IKEA products and cannot bring them home themselves can turn to a local Israeli transport company to have their purchased products delivered to their home.

International Law Professor Ove Bring has in an interview stated that IKEA in Israel discriminates Palestinians by not delivering to Ramallah on the West bank. Currently there are restrictions set by the government in Israel on crossing the border between the state of Israel and territories controlled by Palestinian Authorities. Such restrictions prevent people living in these territories to visit the IKEA Stores in Israel and prevent transportation companies from delivering hereto. We as well as our Israeli franchisee regret any limitations preventing any customer from visiting the IKEA stores or from using the services offered by the IKEA partners.

Being a European company operating under EU legislation, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is subject to competition legislation in Europe. This means that we are forbidden to instruct anyone to prevent delivery of goods to end-consumers located in other countries/territories when the end-consumer has visited the IKEA Store to make their purchases. This is a Competition Law principle which we apply in every franchise agreement with franchisees globally.

We regret that the map used by the local transportation firm has been interpreted as a political statement and we are sorry if anyone has been offended. The map is just intended as a factual description of the areas to which the transportation company is able to deliver home transportation. We want to assure you that the map is not meant as a political statement by either Inter IKEA Systems B.V. or Northern Birch Ltd. and we regret if it has been perceived in such a way.

Best regards,

Corporate Communications
Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

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