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Ikea plans to test a furniture rental program

Starting with office furniture

Ikea store Shutterstock

Last year, Ikea began experimenting with a buy-back program in Japan, which allows customers to return used, recyclable Ikea furniture for a portion of the original price. The effort was largely an attempt to make the company’s production cycle more of a closed loop—a benefit for both customers and the environment.

Now, the company is reportedly expanding on that idea by exploring leasing office furniture. As The Guardian reports, the company has plans to test a leasing model in Switzerland, starting with business customers who are keen to pay less for rentable parts.

Details are scant on how exactly this will work, but in theory it probably functions a little like emerging millennial-friendly startups that allow customers to rent and return furniture. The idea is that leasing an office desk or chair would cost a fraction of the typical price and allow for easier (and less wasteful) upgrades when you finally grow tired of your Micke desk.

The company is also looking at leasing its kitchen designs, which is an interesting, albeit more complicated prospect. The effort is part of Ikea’s larger goal of creating a more eco-friendly business by sustainably sourcing all of its paper and wood by 2020.

Via: The Guardian