Tired of your IKEA Billy bookshelf but haven’t found a buyer to pick up? Do you feel environmentally guilty about throwing them away? Don’t worry anymore. It will be available for sale back to IKEA soon.
The Swedish furniture giant, known for selling cheap disposable cabinets and sofas, is piloting a buyback program in the United States as it strives to transform its business into a more sustainable and “climate positive” by 2030.
The pilot program will be available from Monday through September 19 at IKEA’s Conshohocken store in suburban Philadelphia, offering a permanent service and will be rolled out to more US stores.
Customers of the IKEA Loyalty Program, which can join for free, can sell softly used IKEA furniture in exchange for store credit. The item will be resold at a discounted price in IKEA’s “AS IS” section.
IKEA US Country Sustainability Manager Jennifer Keesson said in a statement, “IKEA is passionate about making sustainable living easy and affordable for many people and wants to be part of a better future for both people and the planet.” hopes the Buy Back & Resell service inspires used furniture to live a more sustainable life at home, giving them another life and a second home.”
IKEA says it will review used products based on condition, age and function. Some furniture categories, such as vanity tables, are not eligible for the program.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 12 million tons of households each year, nearly double the amount in 1990. About 80% of that goes to landfills.
Despite the fact that second-hand shopping is gaining momentum in recent years, especially among the younger generation, the trend is starting to slow in the furniture category for obvious reasons, such as transportation and logistics. A growing number of startups are experimenting with online marketplaces to help buyers and sellers move used furniture, but most focus on handling luxury furniture and making product curation a key selling point.
IKEA’s entry into resale could be game-changing. The Swedish company promises to be a “circular business” by 2030, using only renewable or recycled materials in its production. IKEA operates 52 stores in the United States.