Ikea launches buy back scheme in bid to become ‘climate positive business by 2030’

Customers can earn up to £250 in Ikea vouchers by selling their old furniture back to the retail giant

Kate Ng
Wednesday 05 May 2021 09:39 BST
Ikea has launched their Buy Back scheme, which will enable customers to sell back old furniture to the store to be resold
Ikea has launched their Buy Back scheme, which will enable customers to sell back old furniture to the store to be resold
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Ikea customers in the UK will now be able to sell their old furniture back to the homeware giant for up to £250 as the retailer launches its Buy Back service.

The scheme, which was originally set to be launched last year, is part of Ikea’s promise to become a “fully circular and climate positive business by 2030”. The original launch date was postponed due to the second national coronavirus lockdown in the UK in November 2020.

Customers will be able to sell back certain furniture items in exchange for an Ikea voucher. The pre-loved products will then be resold in Ikea’s Circular Hubs, previously known as the Bargain Corner, at lower prices to give them a second life.

The products will also be available on online re-commerce platform Gumtree through a collaboration with Ikea, and customers can find them by searching for the term ‘#CircularHub’ on Gumtree.

Used products eligible for the Buy Back scheme include dressers, bookcases and shelf units, display storage, sideboards, dining tables, desks, chests of drawers and children’s products, excluding baby items.

The value of the voucher given in exchange for the furniture depends on its condition. A product that is returned as good as new with no scratches will be bought for 50 per cent of the original price, whilst minor scratches are worth 40 per cent of the original price.

Furniture that shows more signs of wear and tear, with several scratches, will be bough for 30 per cent.

Customers can submit items for consideration via an online offer request on Ikea’s website, which will generate a preliminary offer.

They will then be invited to bring the fully-assembled product to their nearest Ikea store to receive the voucher. The voucher will not have an expiry date, which Ikea says will “encourage customers to only purchase new items when they really need something”.

Peter Jekelby, country retail manager and chief sustainability officer of Ikea UK and Ireland, said in a statement: “Households are connected to around 60 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, consuming around a third of the energy and 10 per cent of the water used globally.

“Therefore, small actions taken within them can make a significant difference, and why Ikea is so committed to making a sustainable living more affordable, attractive and accessible.

“As we move towards our goal of becoming fully circular and climate positive by 2030, we will continue to take bold steps ensuring that, by then, all Ikea products will be made from renewable, recyclable and/or recycled materials; and they will be designed to be re-used, refurbished, re-manufactured or recycled, following circular design principles.”

Ikea also launched a ‘Pre-Loved Labels’ trial in its stores in Glasgow, Greenwich, Tottenham and Warrington, which allows customers to learn about an item’s past before giving it a new home. Customers returning an item through the Buy Back scheme can add a Pre-Loved Label that tells the history of their product for other buyers to read.

According research carried out by Ikea, 32 per cent of people say they purchase second-hand items to extend the lifecycle of that product and over a third (35 per cent) like items with a history.

Country sustainability manager Greg Lucas added: “Our research shows that there’s a huge demand to buy quality second hand products. In fact, three in four would now consider buying pre-loved.

“For many, this comes down to affordability, but sustainability has a huge role to play in this decision too.”

The trial will run for two weeks between 5 and 15 May, after which Ikea will determine if it will be rolled out nationally.

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