IKEA wants to roll out furniture rental to all its main markets in a bid to appeal to its increasingly environmentally conscious and transient customers. The world’s biggest furniture group, known for its low-cost disposable items, first said it was looking into leasing its desks, beds, and sofas in February.
The rental idea was driven by a recognition that many consumers change homes more frequently but can’t afford new furniture every time they move. It is also motivated by environmentalism, with IKEA surveys showing that 90 percent of its customers are ready to change their behavior, even if most don’t know how to do that.
IKEA, which had global sales of 39 billion euros ($44 billion) last year, will test a range of subscription-based leasing offers in all 30 of its markets by 2020 so products are reused as often as possible before being recycled.
It had already committed to make all its products from renewable and recycled materials by 2030 and also to design all its products to be reused, repaired and recycled. In 2018 it handled 1 million orders for spare parts to repair products. The rental tests will give IKEA insights into the durability of its products that it will feedback to designers, who are already working to make furniture that is easier to dismantle and move, said Pia Heidenmark, IKEA sustainability chief.