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Ikea Hopes You’ll Be Into Furniture Subscriptions

February 4, 2019, 11:12 AM UTC

Ikea is currently in a period of reinvention—hence the recent job cuts. So what’s next for the flatpack giant? Furniture subscriptions, apparently.

As reported in the Financial Times, the Swedish firm will soon start trialling a furniture-leasing program—initially targeting business customers—under which previously-leased goods will be refurbished and resold. According to Torbjörn Lööf, CEO at brand owner Inter Ikea, the move could pave the way for “scalable subscription services” in the future.

Lööf said the reuse of products would help Ikea cut its climate footprint by 15% in absolute terms. He added that the company was already now designing sofas to be more easily recyclable.

Ikea has been investing in windfarms and forests as part of its sustainability drive, and hopes to be carbon-negative by 2030—as in, it wants to get rid of more carbon dioxide than it creates.

Apart from going greener, Ikea’s other big transformation is beefing up its online operations. It invested in more than a dozen new distribution centers in the last financial year, and is also setting up more city-center shops.

According to a separate FT piece based on its interview with Lööf, the CEO is keen on what he calls the “phygital” space, where “the physical and digital worlds of shopping collide.” Apart from online shopping, that also means an embrace of virtual reality.