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Ikea Makes Buy Back & Resell Permanent

After launching its Buy Back & Resell program pilot aimed at reducing waste and improving circularity, Ikea made the initiative permanent this month in 37 U.S. stores.

The program, which launched in the U.S. last summer in a limited number of markets, allows members of the Ikea Family loyalty program to sell back gently used Ikea furniture in exchange for store credit. Approved furniture will be sold in the store’s as-is area.

“Ikea wants to make sustainable living easy and affordable for everyone, and we are continuously exploring new ways to make the things we love last longer,” said Jennifer Keesson, country sustainability manager, Ikea U.S. “It’s this kind of approach and way of thinking that will help us achieve our goals of becoming a circular business while staying people and planet positive. By giving our customers’ product(s) a new life and a new home, we hope to make sustainability affordable and convenient for the many people.”

The Buy Back & Resell program follows similar launches in other countries, including in the U.K., which went into effect nearly a year ago. Not all products are eligible for the program—mattresses, accessories, outdoor furniture, kitchen cabinets, appliances, and sofas are not included.

Keesson said the company hopes to expand the initiative into additional markets, but local regulations governing secondhand sales have prevented it from bringing the program to all Ikea locations.

“We have been working with municipalities to find solutions since often these secondhand sales regulations were put in place for precious metals or jewelry resale, rather than furniture,” she said. “We hope to add additional store locations on a rolling basis, when possible.”

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This program is part of the company’s sustainability efforts, which also include opening a solar car park, moving toward electric delivery trucks, and shifting to incorporate 50 percent plant-based meals in its on-site restaurants by 2025.

Ikea joins a number of home furnishings companies launching sustainability programs, including Pottery Barn parent Williams-Sonoma, Parachute, and Room & Board, which recently hired its first director of sustainability. With preserving the environment and living sustainably becoming more important to consumers, these moves position home goods companies to appeal to eco-conscious shoppers while making a positive impact on the environment.

“We want to be part of building a future that’s better for people and the planet,” Keesson said. “From furniture to food, home delivery to assembly, and product design to investments, Ikea is transforming its business model to be circular and climate-positive by 2030. We want to help create a sustainable movement in society, and inspire our customers to acquire, care for and pass on Ikea products in more sustainable ways.”