Ikea pilots U.S. furniture buyback program as it considers nationwide launch

Ikea pilots U.S. furniture buyback program as it considers nationwide launch

An Ikea store at the Southbay Pavilion shopping center on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Carson, California, United States.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ikea is piloting a furniture buyback and resale program in the United States with the goal of making service a permanent part of its stores nationwide.

The pilot program will be available Monday through September 19 at its suburban Philadelphia stores in Conshohocken. It will eventually be available in other markets.

Ikea has launched buyout programs in other countries, including the UK, with the aim of making its business more sustainable and ‘climate-friendly’ by 2030.

Loyal customers will be able to sell their lightly used Ikea furniture in exchange for store credit. The items will then be available for resale at reduced prices in the “As is” section of the retailer. Any customer can join the loyalty program free of charge.

Fully assembled furniture will be assessed for condition, age and functionality, but certain product categories such as dressers will not be eligible for the program.

“We are passionate about making sustainable living easy and affordable for many people, and we want to be part of a better future for people and for the planet,” said Jennifer Keeson, Director of Sustainability at Ikea.

More and more retailers are responding to customer demand for more sustainable products, which are more popular with the younger generation. In recent months, the Madewell brands of Gap, Macy’s, JC Penney and J.Crew have teamed up with the ThredUp resale platform to test the second-hand market.

Piper Sandler’s Spring 2021 Gen Z survey found that 47% of teens bought used items and 55% sold used items. The survey also found that teens spend 8% of their shopping time on second-hand purchases. The results of more than 7,000 adolescents with an average age of 16.1 years were collected during the biannual survey.

While much of the demand is for vintage clothing, Ikea expects this behavior to transfer to furniture.

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