IKEA unveils buy back scheme for used furniture

LEIDEN – Swedish homeware giant IKEA is to launch a buy back scheme for customers’ used furniture at all stores across the UK and Ireland next month as part of its bid to be fully circular by 2030.

The world’s biggest furniture retailer is to introduce the programme on Black Friday, 27th November, because it says it also wants to discourage customers from “excessive consumption”.

IKEA has previously piloted new models of furniture rental and refurbishment and take-back schemes for textiles and furniture. However, this will be the first time it has expanded such an initiative nationwide.

It said it wants people to focus on resale, repair and customisation on Black Friday instead of the frenzied over-buying which the occasion has come to be known by in recent years.

Under the scheme, customers will receive an IKEA refund card equivalent to 30-50 per cent of the original retail price with the exact value dependant on the item’s condition.

Items bought back will then be resold as second-hand or recycled if they are not in a good enough condition for resale. Dressers, display cabinets, bookcases, dining tables and chairs, chests of drawers, children’s bed frames, small tables and chairs will all be eligible.

Hege Sæbjørnsen, IKEA’s sustainability manager for the UK and Ireland, said it would drive progress towards the retailer’s 2030 goals of becoming fully circular and climate positive.

“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,” she said.

“Currently, 45 per cent of total global carbon emissions come from the way the world produces and uses everyday products, so buy back represents an opportunity to address unsustainable consumption and its impact on climate change.”

IKEA was among a number of leading brands and retailers who signed up to a new agreement with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to put circularity at the heart of plans to revive the global economy post pandemic.



Written by Simon Glover


October 20, 2020