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IKEA

Swedish students aim for jobs with Ikea and Google

Ikea, Google, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the most popular employers among Swedish students, according to a new survey.

Swedish students aim for jobs with Ikea and Google
Joakim Jardenberg; Per Ola Winberg

For the seventh year in the row, Ikea ranked at the top of an annual “company barometer” compiled by branding company Univerum.

This year’s study was carried out between November 7th and February 15th, a period characterized by negative headlines about the financial crisis, bankruptcies, downsizing, and a volatile housing market.

The study shows that, regardless of economic conditions, employers with strong brand recognition still come out ahead, according to Anna Dyhre, head of Universum’s operations in Sweden.

When looking for jobs, economics students in Sweden first set their sights on Ikea, with one in five viewing Ikea as the ideal employer.

For the first time, Google is most popular employer among those studying IT-related fields. Last year’s most popular tech employer, Sony Ericsson, slipped to second place.

The foreign ministry is the favoured destination for law students, with 20 percent listing the ministry as what they consider an ideal employer.

The survey results come from responses from 14,883 students with an average age of 25 years-old.

Forty percent of them are due to graduate this year and enter the workforce by autumn 2009.

IKEA

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.

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