Thursday, October 13, 2011

A low rate of return

Remember when Ikea gave each of its U.S. employees a bicycle late last year?

The company told employees the bicycles were "our way of saying ‘thanks IKEA co-workers for being strongly committed to working together.’ We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport.”

There was a fair amount of tongue-clucking at the time on bike blogs about how cheap the bikes seemed to be.  And I can't argue with that; the bikes seem to be pretty cheap.  But really, what did your employer give your for Christmas last year?  I think the best gift I ever got from an employer was a turkey or Honey Baked Ham.  So, you know, good for Ikea.

But it would appear -- in West Sacramento, at least -- that the bikes may not have kicked off the pedal-to-work craze Ikea may have hoped for.  On a recent visit to the store I found this lonely bicycle locked to the rack.  One.

Ikea stores tend not to be nestled in neighborhoods and the West Sac store is no exception.  If you were going to cycle to work, you'd have some hairy moments on Reed Avenue and the like.  So I guess it's not too surprising that there weren't a dozen of these waiting outside for shift change.

At least one employee is getting some use out of his or her free bike, and that's a good thing.

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