IKEA embraces circular economy with furniture rental scheme

Global furniture giant IKEA is kicking off its furniture rental scheme in Switzerland. It sees this as an important step towards the circular economy.

IKEA announced months ago that it would roll out a furniture rental scheme in major markets around the world.

According to an article in the Swiss business newspaper Handelszeitung, the project will now kick off in Switzerland with corporate customers. Simona Scarpaleggia, head of IKEA Switzerland, said that it is looking for around 20 SMEs and start-ups from the German-speaking part of the country to participate.

The furniture rental scheme will target different groups in different markets, explains IKEA spokesperson Aurel Hosennen. For example, while the focus is on business customers in Switzerland, IKEA sees a promising market with students in the Netherlands.

“A furniture rental scheme lets us experiment with the circular economy concept. After a customer ends their subscription, we will take back the rented furniture and resell it via our Second Life programme,” explains Hosennen.

In Switzerland, this approach means that companies will no longer have to tie up their capital in furniture but can instead remain flexible. What’s more, the rental price for the furniture will go down the longer the company uses it.

IKEA is offering six such furniture packages for a workspace, and 18 for a meeting room. The cheapest workspace package has a retail value of 950 Swiss francs. The rental price in the first year is 70 francs per month with a minimum rental period of 12 months. The rental price then drops to 35 francs per month in the second year.

Image credit: yassan-yukky via Flickr

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