Ingka Group, the parent company of Ikea, has announced its intention to return government aid that was received to cover wages for furloughed staff during the Covid-19 lockdown. The company has already repaid aid in Serbia and plans to do the same in Romania. Furthermore, Ingka Group will also repay aid received in Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and the United States as a gesture of gratitude.

The decision to repay the government aid stems from Ingka Group’s desire to show appreciation for the support provided by governments during this challenging time. Tolga Oncu, head of retail at Ingka Group, stated, “Whilst no one knows what the future holds, we now have a better understanding of the impact of the crisis on our business and have therefore decided to pay it back as it is the right thing to do.”

This move was praised by Romanian Finance Minister, Florin Citu, who expressed his gratitude towards Ikea for not utilizing the funds meant to cover technical unemployment between March 17 and June 12. Citu took to Facebook to share that Ikea representatives explained their expectation of better-than-expected results for the company, which influenced their decision to refrain from using the state budget funds.

In addition to Ingka Group, British business supplies distributor Bunzl has also announced plans to repay government support and bring forward deferred tax payments. The company made this decision after experiencing stronger-than-anticipated sales during the crisis.

As Ikea stores gradually reopen worldwide following the easing of lockdown measures, the decision by Ingka Group to return government aid is a testament to their commitment to responsible business practices and their recognition of the support they received during these challenging times. It is encouraging to see companies like Ingka Group and Bunzl taking the initiative to contribute to the economic recovery by returning government aid.