Ikea is piloting a furniture buyback and resale program in the United States as it aims to make the service a permanent fixture at its stores nationwide. The pilot program will be available at its store in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken from Monday through Sept. 19. It will eventually roll out to additional markets. Loyalty customers will be able to sell their gently used Ikea furniture in exchange for store credit. The items will then be available for resale in the retailer’s “as-is” section at discounted prices. Any customer can join the loyalty program for free.
Total Retail's Take: Ikea has been at the forefront of the environmental sustainability movement within the retail industry, including investments in solar and wind to power its stores and warehouses, responsibly managed forests as a growing part of its supply chain, and integrating more electric vehicles in its home delivery service fleet. A buyback and resale program falls right in line with those other sustainability initiatives, while also positioning Ikea to capture younger consumers, who have shown a propensity to shop and purchase secondhand goods. Piper Sandler’s spring 2021 Gen Z survey found that 47 percent of teens have purchased secondhand goods and 55 percent have sold secondhand. The survey also showed that teens allocate 8 percent of their shopping time to secondhand purchases.
“At Ikea, we're passionate about making sustainable living easy and affordable for the many, and want to be part of a future that’s better for both people and the planet,” Jennifer Keesson, country sustainability manager, Ikea U.S., said in a company press release. “We hope the Buy Back & Resell service inspires our customers to live a more sustainable life at home while giving their used furniture another life and a second home.”