IKEA takes new direction

NEW DIRECTION: IKEA will be testing a new scheme involving furniture rental. CREDIT: Shutterstock

SWEDISH furniture giant, IKEA, is always at the forefront of new ideas when it comes to furnishing your home or business.

Taking a completely new direction, the Nordic powerhouse of flat-pack furniture is making a move into the realm of rentals. And that’s renting out furniture, not property.

The group has decided to start renting out furniture to businesses and will begin with its office furniture. If it goes well, the scheme may well be extended to kitchens as well.

The idea would be to rent out office furniture such as desks and chairs for a determined period of time, after which the businesses would then return the furniture which would then be used for recycling or even for re-sale if the company wanted to upgrade their furniture and rent out something more updated and modern. This scheme will be piloted in Sweden first before moving into other countries.

“The idea behind this,” said Torbjorn Loof, Managing Director of Inter Ikea, “is to prolong the shelf-life of the furniture and our products because after the furniture has been returned, instead of throwing it away, we will restore it and re-sell it.”

IKEA is also considering launching its own spare parts business, so that customers can purchase accessories such as screws and door hinges that are no longer available in any stores.

The process is part of the transformation of the group’s business model, which moves away from selling products purely in stores outside the city and lets customers collect and assemble their own items.

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