IKEA launches furniture buy back service in 27 countries

By Lucy Jones  October 19th, 2020

The company is giving furniture a second life as part of its push to become a fully circular business by 2030.

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IKEA is on a mission to eradicate waste. The Swedish furniture retailer is launching a buy back service in 27 countries to encourage sustainable shopping habits and divert used furniture from landfill. The circular service will offer customers store credit for their unwanted IKEA furniture which will then be resold, recycled or donated to community projects.

The program kicks off on November 24 to coincide with Black Friday — a day that marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season when most retailers offer discounts on their products. IKEA is bucking the Black Friday trend by encouraging customers to join the reuse economy instead of buying new this Black Friday.

"We want to offer customers' sustainable solutions for their furniture they no longer need, even if it’s served them well over the years. So, we are currently exploring new business models to develop commercially viable and scalable offers in the areas of how people bring things into their home, how they care for things they own, and how they pass on the things they no longer need." IKEA's Deputy Retail Operations Manager, Stefan Vanoverbeke, said in a statement.

"Rather than buy things you don’t need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy."

IKEA has been offering a furniture buy back service in Australia since last October. So far, 10,000 items have been returned through this program diverting an estimated 100 tonnes of furniture from landfill.

Based on the success of this and other resale trails, IKEA is looking to roll out similar initiatives all across the globe. The company's #BuyBackFriday service will run from November 24-December 3 in 27 countries including Britain, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

As part of the new buy back program, customers could receive a store credit worth up to 50% of what they originally paid for their IKEA items. The buy back program is part of IKEA's larger mission to become a fully circular and carbon neutral business by 2030.

"The IKEA vision has always been to create a better everyday life for the many people, which right now means making sustainable living easy and affordable for everyone. Being circular is a good business opportunity as well as a responsibility and the climate crisis requires us all to radically rethink our consumption habits," IKEA's Chief Sustainability Officer, Pia Heidenmark Cook, explained.

"A circular economy can only be achieved through investment and collaboration with customers, other businesses, local communities and governments, so we can eradicate waste and create a cycle of repair, reuse, refurbishment and recycling."

Through its circular services, IKEA gave 47 million products a second life last year. By the end of 2021, the company plans to offer furniture buy back and resale services in all of its stores. These services not only help divert waste from landfill, they also provide customers with affordable repaired or refurbished furniture options.

IKEA also plans to open its first second-hand store in Sweden later this year.

Customers in Australia can return used IKEA furniture that is clean, unmodified and fully assembled. For more information on the buy back service, head here.

Subscribe to the Australian Circular Economy Hub newsletter for the latest circular economy stories and updates on the ACE Hub.

Circular Economy News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

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Lucy Jones

Lucy started her career working as a writer and editor in print and digital publishing. She went on to create content for Australia's leading sustainable fashion platform while completing her Master of Cultural Studies. Lucy spends her downtime at the beach, crocheting and hanging out with her cat Larry. She believes words can change the world and is stoked to help Planet Ark spread the message of positive environmental change.

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