Ikea Launches Furniture Rental Scheme
Ikea is launching a new scheme that allows customers to lease product, rather than purchase it. Part of the brand’s commitment to creating a circular business model, it’s set to reduce carbon emissions by 15% and bring furniture rentals into the mass market.
Starting as a trial run in Switzerland this month, it will initially only cater to the corporate market, primarily renting desks and chairs to office spaces. Clients sign up to a subscription service, paying an ongoing fee to have access to a collection of goods they can swap out as they wish. When items are damaged or no longer needed, they can be refurbished by Ikea and sold on direct to market at a discounted price.
The initiative will investigate how consumers respond to the idea of renting furniture, becoming the blueprint for a scheme that can be scaled up to a consumer-facing programme.
This move reflects the need for greater flexibility and dynamism in the corporate environment. The rental system will offer affordable fitouts that adjust to the needs of businesses as they grow and change over time – making it an ideal choice for start-ups and co-working collectives.
As seen earlier with the launch of Harth in the UK – a similar service aimed at the luxury sector – consumers are opening up to the concept of renting furnishings, rather than owning them. Ikea’s focus on the less personal office environment will help normalise shared ownership to its mass-market audience, enabling it to infiltrate more intimate home spaces.
We highlighted co-ownership as a key influence set to reshape product design in 2019 – see our Look Ahead for more. Likewise, for eco-friendly initiatives reinventing our relationship with product, see The Repair Economy: Top Product Strategies.