Rather than customers leaving an Ikea store with new furniture, customers are asked to bring their old furniture to the store this Black Friday. For the first time, the Swedish retailer will buy back used furniture and home goods in a bid to increase its recycling and resale efforts.
Ikea will roll out its Black Friday buy-back program in 27 countries from November 24 to December 3. During that time the furniture brand plans to buy back thousands of pieces of furniture, including deconstructed parts, to either resell, recycle, or donate to community projects. The program could help Ikea start contributing to a “circular economy” and eradicate large portions of waste at many of its stores. Those that drop off used furniture will receive a voucher for up to 50% the original price of their pieces, which can then be used to buy new items at Ikea. The Black Friday initiative sets the stage for Ikea’s donation destinations, which it plans to place in every store beginning next year. At the new set-up, customers can sell their old furniture or shop repaired and refurbished pieces.
As Ikea has locations around the world, its recycling program is truly a global effort. If the initial Black Friday buy-back is a success, Ikea could potentially expand it to additional locations and turn the program into an annual occurrence. The buy-back program will launch right before Ikea opens its first secondhand store in Stockholm, Sweden, where shoppers can browse recycled and redesigned Ikea furniture throughout the year. The opening of its secondhand store in tandem with its buy-back program demonstrates that Ikea is aware of growing consumer interest in resale. In fact, consumers prefer resale—or “vintage”—furniture more than they do recycled products from other industries, so capitalizing on that particular demand could help Ikea appeal to an enthusiastic array of home shoppers. The program could also help Ikea remodel its image as a sustainable furniture company which could further drive eco-conscious consumers to its stores, according to a Gartner report on the topic.
Ikea’s recycling promotion puts a twist on traditional Black Friday sales, and could appeal to shoppers looking to sell or buy used furniture. Where typical Black Friday sales were about stocking up, this year’s shopping celebration could focus on sustainability, for customers and retailers alike.