In an effort to meet consumers where they are, IKEA has started testing out furniture rentals and furniture buyback programs. With an eye toward sustainability, rentals and buybacks would allow the furniture giant to recycle and reuse parts, creating an environmentally friendly way to get commitment- phobic consumers through their doors.
The company is 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. The company has experimented with buying back sofas in Japan, with the intent of recycling the parts.
IKEA chief executive, Jesper Brodin, said of the program at the World Economic Forum at Davos (as quoted by the Telegraph), "If the last decades were about mass consumerism, now we are getting towards mass circularity."
The initiative is a mix of smart, money saving initiatives with built in environmentalism. Brodin also spoke to the green nature of the idea: "you build in an economic incentive, you build in a consciousness with consumers that they don't have to own it, but own this collectively in the world and recycle it."
With new initiatives like the store credit card, IKEA is clearly thinking beyond products and more about the why and how of people's shopping habits.
Would you rent IKEA furniture?