It's a Håppî Christmüs from Sweden as Ikea UK gives all 9000 'co-workers' folding bikes as this year's corporate gift. The largesse is even more impressive when put into market context: Brompton, for instance, sells c. 12,000 folding bikes a year so this move from Ikea is a big boost to the folding bike sector (and, from later tonight, there's likely to be a fair few blue folding bikes on eBay...)

Ikea gifts folding bikes to 9000 staff

Each ‘co-worker’ will also be eligible for 15 per cent subsidised travel tickets to encourage more to use public transport to travel to and from work.

The eco-friendly gift choices are part of IKEA’s "commitment to improve all environmental aspects" of its business.

The IKEA-branded folding bikes were delivered to stores early this morning and presented to the staff at their annual Christmas breakfast event.

The bikes have a Raleigh brand mark on one of the rear stays. Raleigh normally sources its bikes from Dahon but the Ikea models were sourced from Poland.

IKEA UK manager, Peter Hogsted, said:

“We want to create a better everyday life for the many, and do what we can to make greener living possible. This is both for our co-workers, as well as our millions of customers.

"The bike is a fun present but there is a serious message. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to protect the environment."

The gift of folding bikes was welcomed by the Government’s environment minister Ben Bradshaw MP:

"As someone who does not own a car and has cycled to work for years, I am well aware of the environmental and health benefits of cycling. Most journeys by car are under five miles and could easily be done by bike. Folding bikes are a particularly good idea because they are easy to take on trains and buses.

"More companies should follow Ikea’s lead and encourage staff to cycle to and from work."

John Sauven, acting executive director of Greenpeace said:

"IKEA are providing a wonderful example of a truly green Christmas present. If Goldman Sachs followed IKEA’s example of providing their staff with bikes that can go on public transport instead of multi million pound bonuses for fast cars and big houses we would be well on the way to saving the planet. especially if the spare change was given to eradicating poverty and fighting climate change."

Along with the free bike, Ikea staff have been given information about the Folding Society and Sustrans

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