Swedish retail giant Ikea to slash workforce again

<div>THE continued decline in consumer spending is forcing Ikea to downsize its workforce further, and put a sharp halt on planned growth and expansion having already trimmed 5,000 employees from its pay roll.<br /><br />Only weeks after the company had to announce massive global job losses and the abandonment of plans to open stores in India, the company&rsquo;s founder Ingvar Kamprad has warned that Ikea faces yet further cost-cutting as the global economic crisis continues to hurt the Scandinavian furniture giant.<br /><br />A dearth of credit available to homebuyers has hit Ikea hard, with the flat pack furniture specialist heavily reliant on people moving into, and then furnishing, new houses.<br /><br />An all time low in the number of mortgages available in the UK market is indicative of the wider economic climate, which poses a particular problem for the chain.<br /><br />Only last month the Swedish retailer was expecting to open over a dozen new stores globally throughout the year, but with growth in China suddenly slowing to a crawl, and Indian regulations on foreign investment stifling the furniture maker&rsquo;s plans for expansion into the subcontinent, Ikea is now faced with a very different outlook.<br /><br />As a private company, Ikea does not publish its sales figures, but they are understood to be a long way below budget. Most of the future job cuts are expected to come from the manufacturing and logistics departments as the company seeks to cut its costs.<br /><br />Ireland&rsquo;s first Ikea, in Dublin, is still due to open later this month. It will employ around 500 people.</div>