IKEA founder to complain to Putin

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly and complain about the shabby treatment Ikea is getting from local authorities. Ikea was about to inaugurate a shopping mall outside of Moscow last Friday when local authorities stopped the event.

“I would like to look President Putin in the eye and say that we both have the same interests and that what is happening now is highly unfortunate,” Kamprad told DI.

Hellström no longer tax crime suspect

Former Ericsson CEO Kurt Hellström has been removed from the list of tax crime suspects but seven other ex-colleagues at the telecom group risk indictment. Hellström is no longer suspected of having engaged in bribery.

Many of Ericsson’s corporate bigwigs had been investigated for impeding tax supervision. Ericsson is accused of paying at least 3.3 billion crowns to some 30 trade agents in the late 1990s. The payments were reportedly hidden through false invoices.

Freight rates at record high levels

Freight prices have touched new record highs, a trend that appears to hold. Increasing demand in China is driving up the prices and experts predict that the prices will remain high also next year. Freight charges have risen for both oil and dry cargo and a new peak was reached last week when it cost 250,000 dollars per day to transport 300,000 tons of oil.

Swedes about to become poorer

The trend of increasingly wealthy Swedish households is about to be broken as loans continue to rise while the housing market is losing steam. At the same time interest rates head higher, rendering the private economies more vulnerable, reported DI.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.