Forever the staple of dorm rooms and early-adulthood apartments, IKEA furniture is almost instantly recognizable for its clean minimalism. The furniture isn’t exactly known for lasting a lifetime, given the target market’s budget restraints and evolving taste. Considering this, along with customer demands for more sustainable practices, IKEA is piloting a furniture buyback and resale program in the U.S.
The company already has the repurchase program underway in other countries, and it will debut stateside in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, before a likely expansion to the rest of its U.S. stores. According to a recent CivicScience study, nearly 3 in 10 Americans are at least somewhat likely to either purchase or trade in used furniture from IKEA’s buyback program.
A majority of adults who like to shop at IKEA “a lot” are at least somewhat likely to purchase used furniture, followed by 40% of Americans who are more casual IKEA shoppers. Even 14% of consumers who don’t like shopping at IKEA at all might give it a try.
Despite the stated mission of sustainability and aiming to make IKEA a “climate positive” company that reduces more greenhouse gas emissions than the chain itself emits by 2030, the environment doesn’t seem to be a huge consideration for consumers looking to try out the IKEA buyback program. Surprisingly, consumers who never adjust their lifestyle to help the environment are more inclined to be very likely to get used furniture from the buyback program. And Americans who will help the environment when it’s convenient are slightly more likely to express some interest in the program than the most environmentally-conscious shoppers.
Perhaps cost is king, and perhaps IKEA can attain its mission of sustainability without only relying on consumers who have the environment at top of mind. The current buyback interest levels might just be high enough among the store’s fans that it won’t matter — if more than half of IKEA’s die-hards do in fact shell out for used furniture, it should be here to stay.