Looking from the outside in - people, place and practice

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IKEA photoshops women out of Saudi catalogue

Say what now? Yup, it's true. IKEA is being heavily criticized for removing women from their catalogue which is published in Saudi Arabia. IKEA is a furniture and lifestyle store, which is synonymous with Stockholm, one of the most gender equal cities in the world. So how could this happen?
The retailer apparently said that they regret their decision: "We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values."
I'd say.
I think that when a multi-billion Swedish krona company such as IKEA feels the need to compromise their values for a country that does not share their views on gender equality, that they should NOT even be opening stores in that country. That is if they want their customers to believe in what they stand for.
What is your take?

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