As employees around the country and world received end-of-year bonuses this year, Swedish company IKEA prepared a rather unique gift. US employees each received their own bicycle from the company. The bike is not branded by IKEA, however it was delivered in the same fashion as other IKEA products: with a traditional instruction booklet in a small box, entirely in pieces requiring user assembly. “We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport,” said Mike Ward, IKEA US President. Sarah Gilbert of WalletPop has suggested that the gift will be beneficial to the employees as well as the employer. A healthy lifestyle will lead to less health-related costs borne by IKEA and more productive personnel. She widely supports the gesture, as do most.
However, as some commenters have noted, these bikes are already showing up on Craigslist and eBay. The one I found is being sold for $99 – perhaps the money is more valuable to some this season than a long term investment in health and sustainability.