Ikea pilots U.S. furniture buyback and resale program as it eyes a nationwide launch

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An Ikea store in the SouthBay Pavilion shopping mall in Carson, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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.

Ikea has launched repurchase programs in other countries, including the United Kingdom as it works toward making its business more sustainable and “climate positive” by 2030.

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.

Fully-assembled furniture will be assessed based on its condition, age and functionality, but some categories of products like dressers will not be eligible for the program.

“We are 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,” said Ikea sustainability manager Jennifer Keesson.

More retailers are responding to customer demand for more sustainable products, which are more popular with younger generations. In recent months, Gap, Macy’s, J.C. Penney and J.Crew’s Madewell brand have partnered with resale platform ThredUp to test the secondhand market.

Piper Sandler’s spring 2021 Gen Z survey found that 47% of teens have purchased secondhand goods and 55% have sold secondhand. The survey also showed that teens allocate 8% of their shopping time to secondhand purchases. The semiannual survey gathered results from more than 7,000 teenagers with an average age of 16.1.

While much of the demand has been for secondhand clothing, Ikea hopes this behavior can transfer into furniture.



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