Ikea is to buy back its unwanted furniture from customers to resell as secondhand as part of the Swedish group’s efforts to become more environmentally friendly.
The Buy Back initiative will be launched in Ikea stores across the UK and Ireland on 27 November – the Black Friday discount day. Customers will receive vouchers to spend in store, with their value calculated according to the condition of the items returned.
Sideboards, bookcases, shelving, small tables, dining tables, office drawers, desks, chairs and stools without upholstery, all previously bought from Ikea, can be taken back after customers register a request online. Some children’s products will also qualify for the scheme.
Well-used pieces with several scratches will get vouchers worth 30% of the item’s original value and “as new” pieces can be exchanged for up to half their value. The items will be put on sale in stores and anything that cannot be resold will be recycled.
Peter Jelkeby, the country retail manager for Ikea in the UK and Ireland, said: “Sustainability is the defining issue of our time and Ikea is committed to being part of the solution to promote sustainable consumption and combat climate change. With the launch of Buy Back we are giving a second life to many more Ikea products and creating more easy and affordable solutions to help people live more sustainably. It is an exciting step forward in our journey towards becoming a fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.”
Ikea, the world’s biggest furniture chain, began trialling the sale of used and patched-up furniture in the UK more than a year ago in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The company is attempting to build a circular business model in which materials and products are reused or recycled. The company is investing more than €3.2bn (£2.9bn) on sustainability measures to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Other experiments include textile recycling and leasing office furniture such as desks and chairs to business customers in Switzerland.
Ikea’s move comes as the trend for more environmentally friendly services becomes increasingly mainstream. John Lewis began renting out furniture this year and is considering a marketplace to sell used products, Selfridges is hosting secondhand fashion boutiques and Liberty has tested rental services.