Swedish giant Ikea to buy back used furniture

STOCKHOLM — Flat-pack furnishings retailer Ikea said today that it will offer to buy back thousands of pieces of used Ikea furniture in 27 countries, for resale, recycling or donation to community projects.

The Swedish giant said today that its Black Friday event will be “an opportunity to meet customers’ needs in ways that contribute to a circular economy.” It will run from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3.

“A circular economy can only be achieved through investment and collaboration with customers, other businesses, local communities and governments, so we can eradicate waste and create a cycle of repair, reuse, refurbishment and recycling”, said Pia Heidenmark Cook, the group’s chief sustainability officer.

Anyone selling used Ikea furniture will get a voucher that could be worth as much as 50% of the original price, to buy new items.

The company did not say in what condition the used furniture should be or whether it should be dismantled. The group said it was currently looking into how to best prolong the life of products for reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling.

Later this year Ikea will open its first second-hand store, in a shopping center west of Stockholm.

As of next year, Ikea will have dedicated destinations in every store where people can sell back their old furniture and find repaired or refurbished furniture.

Ikea was founded by Ingvar Kamprad, who turned a small-scale mail order business started on his family’s farm into a furniture empire by letting customers piece together his simple and inexpensive furniture themselves, in 1943.

There are now stores in 40 countries and 131,000 employees worldwide. The Ikea Group is headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands.