• IKEA's furniture plant in Lithuania cuts staff by a fifth

    Swedish IKEA's Swedwood Kazlu Ruda furniture production plant in Lithuania is downsizing, reports news2biz LITHUANIA in its latest issue.

    The product range review at Swedwood Kazlu Ruda has resulted in cutting staff by a fifth.

    "62 employees and 45 rented staff will be laid off, after which the plant will remain with 400 employees," says Christer Ågren, managing director of Swedwood Kazlu Ruda, to news2biz.

    "The reason for the staff reduction is that the plant is replacing around half of its product range with new designs. Because demand for new products is normally lower during the launch phase of a product life-cycle, our production volumes will also be lower, so we will need fewer employees. The plant does not develop demand forecasts – the customer does."

    Ågren would not specify the types of furniture that are subject to the change but says that all come from the plant's regular range of flat-pack bedroom and living room furniture. "There are some furniture designs that stay in production for 20 years, other designs last shorter. The life-cycle of furniture that we produce in Lithuania averages 5-10 years."

    "The new designs will be produced by using the same technology that is employed at Swedwood Kazlu Ruda today – particle board and foil. Particle board purchasing from neighbouring Swedspan Giriu Bizonas board producer will also be lower. Although we are a significant customer of theirs, we are only one among many," Ågren says.

    According to Ågren, last year the furniture plant's turnover figures "were not significantly different from 2011. But I would like to point out that in general we are very satisfied with the plant that gives us a good position for future growth."