Ikea's holiday gift: A brand new bike (some assembly required).
BusinessWire
Alison
By Allison Linn Senior writer
msnbc.com
updated 12/13/2010 10:48:52 AM ET 2010-12-13T15:48:52

This holiday season, some employees will get a bonus, others will get a restaurant gift card and a few may even get a nice bottle of liquor.

Ikea’s U.S. employees will get to assemble themselves a brand new bike.

The Swedish retailer, best known for its inexpensive, assembly-required furniture, recently announced that it was giving all its U.S. employees an all-terrain bicycle.

Befitting Ikea, spokeswoman Mona Liss said the bikes arrived last week in a flat box and needed to be assembled.

The 12,400 bicycles, which were custom-made for Ikea, are meant to show appreciation for employees’ hard work  – and offer an incentive for them to bike to work.

“This is our way of saying ‘thanks Ikea co-workers for being strongly committed to working together,’” Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president, said in a release announcing the giveaway. “We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport.”

Liss said the company has done bike giveaways in other countries before, including one a few years ago at Ikea’s U.K. operations.

The retailer also encourages people to be healthy in other ways, she said. At the company’s headquarters in Pennsylvania, for example, yoga is offered twice a week.

“It’s part of the culture here to live a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

In the U.S., she said, the company does a holiday gift most years. Last year, it was a $50 restaurant gift card and another year it was a coffee table book about home.

Tip of the hat to our partners at WalletPop, who alerted us to the story.

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