IKEA Begins Reopening Stores

TEL AVIV (Reuters) -
The IKEA branch in Moshav Eshtaol, north of Beit Shemesh. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture brand, opened three of its six stores in Israel on Wednesday after the government started to gradually ease its coronavirus lockdown.

The company, which closed its stores in mid-March, said it would abide by Health Ministry guidelines such as for customers to stand six feet apart and wear facemasks. The rules are being heeded in businesses around the country.

IKEA operates through a franchise system, with the Bronfman-Fisher Group owning the stores in Israel.

It reopened two of its biggest outlets in central Israel — Netanya and Rishon Letzion — as well as a smaller store at the Tel Aviv port.

Ingka Group, the biggest franchisee and owner of most IKEA stores worldwide, said last week it expected to start reopening stores in Europe in May while its business in China was roughly back to normal.