Ikea has decided to install a few hot baths on the quays of the Seine from 1 to 3 March to mark the opening on May 6 of its first store in Paris, but not everyone in the French capital likes the idea.
Detractors of the initiative, scheduled for the Quai des Grands-Augustins in the Sixième Arrondissement, include the Groupe écologiste de Paris. “The Parisian public space is not for rent, it belongs to Parisians and not to a few lucky people pulled out of a hat, and even less to Ikea,” the ecologist group explained in a press release.
This was a reference to the lottery system used by the furniture giant to select the people who will be able to enjoy the hot baths. However, the operation has been faulted, above all, for its perceived environmental cost. It is “an ecological aberration”, “a communications operation in the image of a brand with little regard for the environment,” the Groupe écologiste de Paris said.
However, Ikea defended its initiative, writing in ’20 Minutes’ that the operation was “compliant with the Paris City Hall’s charter for ecologically responsible events in the French capital.
The Swedish company added that it would use low-energy bulbs as well as recycled but well-treated waste water from the French capital.