Ikea starts buy-back scheme offering vouchers for old furniture

The secondhand areas in Ikea shops will probably be known as Circular Hubs

Ikea has launched its long-awaited furniture buy-back and re-sale scheme, in an try to cut back the variety of merchandise going to landfill.

The transfer is a part of the retail big’s sustainability drive to change into “climate positive” by 2030.

Customers will get vouchers to spend in-store if gadgets they now not want are returned in good situation.

Ikea admitted the scheme was a studying curve, however determined to launch it after profitable trials in a number of cities.

“I’m not saying we have all the answers, but we learned enough from the pilots to tell us that this could be something of real value to us and our customers,” Hege Saebjornsen, an environmental and sustainability knowledgeable at Ikea, informed the BBC.

The initiative, initially scheduled to launch in November however postponed due to the pandemic, is now obtainable in Ikea shops throughout the UK. It can be being launched within the different 26 international locations during which Ikea operates.

Eliminate waste

Used merchandise returned in as-new situation with no scratches will probably be purchased for 50% of the unique worth, whereas gadgets with minor scratches will probably be purchased for 40%. Furniture that’s effectively used with a number of scratches will probably be purchased for 30%.

The gadgets will probably be bought in separate areas of the shops, though Ikea has additionally introduced a brand new partnership with Gumtree to promote second-hand merchandise through the web market.

Products eligible for buy-back embody dressers, cupboards, bookcases and shelf models, small tables, eating tables and desks.

The Swedish firm has already introduced it desires to change into totally “circular” – remove waste by way of the continuous use of supplies – by 2030. Ingka Group, Ikea’s dad or mum firm, not too long ago introduced it was investing €4bn in renewable power.

Customers eager to promote again furniture go to Ikea.co.uk to fill out a web based type, which generates a preliminary provide, after which take gadgets to a retailer.

Ikea secondhand item

Ikea is trialling Pre-Loved Labels, giving clients details about an merchandise’s previous.

Ms Saebjornsen, a former sustainability supervisor on the retailer and now an Ikea adviser on the forthcoming COP26 local weather summit, mentioned that precisely what the patron uptake will probably be is unknown.

But she mentioned the trials, together with in Sydney, Lisbon, Edinburgh and Glasgow, “were really successful. It taught us a lot about the appetite for this and how people behave”.

The second-hand market usually – from clothes to homeware – is rising quickly as purchasing habits change, and Ikea hopes to faucet into this, she mentioned.

Quality management

One potential downside was that furniture should be delivered fully-assembled, a attainable obstacle for individuals who have heavy and ponderous gadgets.

“We still found people are taking us up on it [the scheme],” she mentioned.

Ikea is engaged on the right way to enhance the disassembly of merchandise.

“Some are better than others. Products can get damaged when taken apart, so we can only really accept assembled products. It maintains the security and quality of the item,” she mentioned.

Although Ikea is offering vouchers, not money, the scheme is just not being launched as a revenue driver for the retailer, she mentioned. Still, does not it reinforce a buy-new, disposable tradition?

“We’ve taken all of that into account,” Ms Saebjornsen mentioned.

“It’s really important to highlight that the voucher has no use-by date. They can be used to buy another second hand item, or food.

“The actual consideration right here is that it is about how we make sustainable and wholesome residing straightforward, accessible and inexpensive, and actually mainstream.

“Ikea is such a large company with massive potential to reach millions of customers.

“We will not be saying that we have now all of the solutions. But small actions could make a distinction.”

The buy-back service is accessible in full-sized Ikea shops nationwide, excluding order and assortment factors in Tottenham Court Road, Norwich and Aberdeen. The service will launch in Reading and Belfast on 17 May.

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