IKEA Is Testing a Furniture Rental Program

published Feb 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Would you rent IKEA furniture instead of buying it? The Swedish retailer is betting you might.

Last year, we first reported on the possibility, noting that IKEA was “looking at the buying habits of people in different cities, places where people may be less inclined to invest in setting up a permanent home,” and had “experimented with buying back sofas in Japan with the intent to recycle the parts.”

Torbjorn Loof of Inter Ikea (the store’s parent company) gave an interview with the Financial Times this week, as reported by Vox, confirming that a rental program will be tested in Europe—starting with desks and chairs—as early as February:

“We will work together with partners so you can actually lease your furniture,” said Loof. “When that leasing period is over, you hand it back and you might lease something else. And instead of throwing those away, we refurbish them a little and we could sell them, prolonging the life cycle of the products.”

The program could extend beyond just furniture; “You could say leasing is another way of financing a kitchen,” Loof said.

The new service is part of IKEA’s sustainability goals to be “planet positive” by 2030. According to Loof, “When this circular model is up and running, we have a much bigger interest in not just selling a product but seeing what happens with it and that the consumer takes care of it.”

While no pricing has been set as of yet, we can assume it will be on the affordable end, in step with IKEA’s brand.