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Ikea rules out job cuts amid increased use of AI

Ikea storefront

Ikea has currently ruled out a reduction of its headcount despite a rise in the use of artificial intelligence.

The parent company of Ikea, Ingka Group’s global people and culture manager Ulrika Biesert told Reuters: “That’s not what we’re seeing right now” when asked if the increased use of AI will result in job cuts.

Sales by Ingka’s remote interior design channel, which included phone and video sales accounted for £1.12 billion (€1.3 billion) of revenues for the group in its 2022 financial year ended 31 August 2022.

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Online sales accounted for £8.51 billion (€9.9 billion), 25% of total sales, in the period.

This comes as the retailer is training its call centre staff to become interior design advisers as the company hands its customer queries to AI bot, Billie.

According to the retailer, it has trained around 8,500 call centre workers as interior designers since 2021.

“We’re committed to strengthening co-workers’ employability in Ingka, through lifelong learning and development and reskilling, and to accelerate the creation of new jobs,” Ingka Group global people and culture manager Ulrika Biesert said.

Recently, Ikea acquired US-based software provider Made4Net for an undisclosed sum in a bid to speed up its online orders.

The deal, which is the third 100% acquisition made by the retailer, will span across its 500 stores in over 31 markets.

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