Ikea is continuing its plans to rent out furniture. Customers can buy them through a leasing model and simply return them after use. In 2020, the Swedish chain will be trying out the new model in 30 countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands.
Towards a circular value chain
Ikea wants to have become circular and climate positive by 2030. That means the furniture chain will have to reduce the quantity of greenhouse gases by more than it emits and all of its products and materials will have to be reused. In that context, Ikea has been conducting several experiments last year – in the Netherlands as well as in Poland, Sweden and Switzerland – to gauge the interest in a leasing model.
Ikea wants to rent out furniture to keep it from ending up in a rubbish dump at the end of its life cycle. The idea is to develop a subscription-based leasing model. This will allow the company to remain the owner of the products, stimulating re-use as much as possible. In the Netherlands, for example, Ikea noticed that rented furniture is particularly interesting for students, because they only need them temporarily.
The way people relate to material things is evolving
"Trying out a leasing model is one of the ways we challenge ourselves to become more affordable, more accessible and more sustainable to our customers. Climate change and non-sustainable consumption are among the biggest challenges of our society," said Jesper Brodin CEO of Ingka Group, which is responsible for Ikea's stores in 30 countries.
"Our research tells us that people's behaviour is evolving, as is the way they relate to the things they own. Now we tend to live in smaller spaces and people are more aware of their impact on the planet, they're looking for ways to counter waste and increase the lifetime of their possessions," said Chief Sustainability Officer Pia Heidenmark Cook.