Sunday , January 23 2022

IKEA releases twenty Serbia workers, but it's planning new jobs – Economy


Serbia Ikea, who started working last year, announced that 23 employees will be canceled.

Photo by Stefan Vanoverbeke / IKEA

According to the first information, the employee's middle strata will be hit, while the workers at the sales facilities are excluded from these measures. The company's officers claim that it is part of a "change project and a concept of sales that have changed" that will enable the opening of new jobs in the next few years. In conversation with Danas, Stefan Vinoverbeke, general manager of Ikea for South East Europe, that is, Ukraine, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia in Serbia, explains why Ikea, after decades of work under the system established by the founder, is now changing the global strategy.

– Ikea is changing the strategy because the scope of the world is changing the speed we've never seen from. The retail sector has made major changes, our customers increasingly use digital technologies, their needs and expectations are significantly different nowadays than they were. Today, they mostly live in urban centers, do not own cars and do not always have enough time to come to departmental stores, which are located outside the middle of the city. Here are the reasons why Ikea is changing globally. Here in Serbia and the Southeastern Europe region, we will establish new contact points as it is called with customers, such as points to download products or fewer shops in the city center, and at the same time we will develop our digital services in substantial and continue to invest in this region.

* Which categories of workers in Serbia will be covered by the transformation worldwide?

The effect is different depending on which business unit it is, but at the moment, it will deal mainly with human resources, real estate and business development, as well as logistics. As we continue with the transformation process, we will also analyze other parts of the organization, but it is important to note that, in the next two years, globally and in our region, it will be We have more employees than today. In the region, we are currently focusing on the functions of our regional office of Ikea South East Europe, located in Belgrade, which provides support to operations in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and Ukraine. Until the end of the transformation in Serbia and the region, we will open 706 new jobs by opening up new department stores, checkpoints for digital goods and services. At the same time there will be 23 remaining jobs in the central office, while the impact on department stores will be very small. We continue to talk to employees about how to implement changes together, according to their values ​​and so that every employee receives the necessary support.

* Will the new job posts be strengthened by the online sales segment and how much will be counted on personnel from Serbia?

In total, we want, after completing the transformation, our users, for example, can search, find, select and buy the product within five minutes. For this reason, our priority is to use e-commerce fully and more focus on workplaces that add value to current and future customers. We will be particularly striving to attract and build stronger competencies in the fields of digital technologies, data analysis and personalization. Our regional office is headquartered in Belgrade and it is natural that we count on local experts when we are looking for new skills.

* Under what conditions do current workers leave Ikea?

We focus on retaining as much talent as possible within Ikea. For this reason, we will support our employees to find the next opportunity within the company, here or abroad. For those who do not find a new chance at IKEA, we will provide redundancy that goes beyond the statutory minimum and based on the principle of internal equity. At the end of this process, we will actually have more jobs in South East Europe than we have today.

* How satisfied are you with the business results in Serbia?

We are very satisfied with the results in Serbia and we see many positive trends. In the Serbian home furniture product market, we have the largest share in relation to other countries in the region, which has increased by 14 per cent since we arrived last year. We recently decided to launch a new investment cycle in Serbia with the Belgrade Trade Center, which will be located directly to our department store. The investment is worth around 50 million euros and will create 400 new jobs. This step, I believe, clearly shows our strong commitment to Serbia, as well as the desire to further improve our business and contribute to local economic growth.

* What are the main features of the new market approach?

We want the IKEA to be accessible, accessible and act in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. When I'm saying it's available, I'm adding digital sales channels, flexible services and the possibility of opening shops in city centers. We will not have one solution for each market, but we adapt to the specific needs of our customers in the South East European region. Our departmental stores will be converted into display space. The departmental stores will also become a strong link to the delivery network so that the buyer, for example, can order a sofa in the morning and take over the same afternoon.

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