Ikea recently announced plans to trial a new concept of shopping for furniture, based on a subscription basis, which could well change the way you decorate your home.
Yes, that’s right, if things do go as planned you will be able to subscribe for new furniture the same way you can sign up for a Netflix account to watch movies and Spotify for your music.
Don’t start throwing out your armchairs yet though, because Ikea is looking to try out this new concept in Switzerland, and the company is looking at utilising the hire stratey for kitchens and office chairs before rolling it out to other types of homeware.
So why hire furniture? Well, according to Ikea the hope is for “people to play an active role in making the circular economy a reality, which we can support by developing new ways for people to buy, care for, and pass on products. And instead of throwing those away, we refurbish them a little and we could sell them, prolonging the lifecycle of the product. We will work together with partners so you can actually lease your furniture. When that leasing period is over, you hand it back and you might lease something else,” says Torbjorn Lööf, the chief executive of Inter Ikea, which owns the Ikea brand.
And they do have a point, when you marvel at the amount of furniture Ikea produces and sells worldwide annually, US$44.6 billion worth of it in 2018 as a matter of fact. Look around your room and we’re pretty sure you spot an offering somewhere in the space right. Ikea’s leasing strategy is a way to prolong the life of its products, such as its kitchen setups. “You could say leasing is another way of financing a kitchen. When this circular model is up and running, we have a much bigger interest in not just selling a product but seeing what happens with it and that the consumer takes care of it,” Torbjorn Lööf explains.
But whether this proposal will take off locally, remains to be seen. For one, Southeast Asians are not inclined to purcahse second-hand items for fear of not knowing who the previous owner is or what he/she did to it. Furthermore, Singapore is a small-enough country, where access to shops are convenient, making it easy to just throw things away and buy new ones instead of repairing old items.
So what do you think? Will you sign up for a subscription-hire kitchen set-up?