Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Canadian Picked to Run Huge Ikea in Red Hook

February 29th, 2008 · 8 Comments

The job of managing the massive Ikea in Red Hook has gone to a Canadian who has worked for the multinational retailer for 14 years, according to a press release issued yesterday, which notes that the massive store will open this summer (August has always been mentioned as the most likely date). Ikea is hiring 500 people to join its “Swedish family” at the store although it’s not clear how many will be Red Hook residents or Brooklynites. Many of the management jobs are expected to go to non-Brooklynites. The new top person is named Mike Baker and started with Ikea in North York, Ontario. A big part of Ikea’s public relations strategy was promising large numbers of jobs for Red Hook and Brooklyn residents. It gave Red Hook residents a two-week head start in applying for jobs, although it’s not clear how many applied and how many will be hired. If the news is good, there will no doubt be many press releases; if it is not, expect that the breakdown will be hard to get.

Tags: Ikea · Red Hook

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Feb 29, 2008 at 11:01 am

    You know Red Hook was once home to thousands of Scandinavians. Seems appropriate that they return to their old neighborhood. By the way, the last time the Norwegian soccer federation came to Red Hook bearing gifts, (a soccer field in ’94) the local children set it on fire. What kind of sprinkler system does the new building have?

  • 2 Anonymous // Feb 29, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    IKEA, actually pronounced EH KAY AH, is Swedish..not NORWEGIAN. Ya know, Sweden is not Norway. I don’t think the local children, frolicking down Beard Street, in barefeet carrying torches, really care about IKEA. I’d be more afraid of the adults who hate IKEA carrying jugs of water to throw on all the particle board and glue furniture. Maybe they’ll torch the cars streaming in..maybe they will all JUST NOT SHOP THERE!

  • 3 loose stool // Feb 29, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    splitting hairs 6:06, splitting hairs. I suppose you want to unpave the roads too. It’s kind of inevitable isn’t it? White people discover a hood and more white people follow. (In this case the whitest of all) Stop the self loathing, just stop. I’m sure there are a lot of poor blacks in the neighborhood who will be happy to take the money who care little if they’re Swedish, Norwegian, or South African.

  • 4 Anonymous // Mar 1, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    oh my god, is this turning into a black issue? sigh..it’s more about where is there a big chunk of land near a highway that we can build our giant store full of cheap shit no matter who lives there.

  • 5 Anonymous // Mar 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I wonder if the canadian is legal and where is this person going to live?

  • 6 matthews // Mar 1, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Local organizations, especially Red Hook Rise, are confidant that IKEA will offer lots of jobs to locals. Fairway set a good precedent. Most of the employees there are local, and the service is excellent. To be sure, it’s not Madison Avenue, but the will is there, at least for customers willing to take their assistance with a bit of funk.

    My request for kasha, for instance, led a young stock clerk on a quest through several aisles. He clearly had never eaten the grain, but he persevered and proudly pointed to the product I sought among the dried grains and nuts.

    There are no Swedes in the Red Hook Projects (unless you count the vegetable), but I’m sure there are plenty of people capable of staffing a furniture store.

  • 7 loose stool // Mar 2, 2008 at 4:14 am

    No 8:52 its not a black issue. Its a class issue. It happens that most poor in Red Hook are black. It’s about people wanting to get ahead. People like you, 8:52 like to show what extremely good taste you have by dissing IKEA. They make OK furniture and it gives people a chance to buy stuff for a growing family. Maybe you can hire a woodworker to build custom furniture, most of us can’t. What should we do 8:52, search the streets for concrete blocks and planks, maybe a empty wire spool to put our hooka on? IKEA didn’t appear out of nowhere. They have been successful at selling furniture at a price point that most people find agreeable. No doubt you live in Red Hook and will be looking out your sunny coop and fuming at all the traffic backed up trying to strap those huge boxes on top of their Accords. Better lock your fixed gear bike inside.

  • 8 Paul Z // Mar 2, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Well, actually, as a Danish-Canadian who lives a block away from the new Ikea, maybe I should work there! I wonder if I show them my Danish passport if I’ll get a discount …