Is Renting Furniture The Next Home Services Trend?

If you were told that you could lease a kitchen sink to test it out and see if you liked it, just like you would a car at a dealership, would you laugh in the retailers face, or sign up immediately? This is not a joke. We could be at the hands of a new service through Ikea where you can rent, or rather lease, a sink through their company. Although it is just a proposition at the moment, it obviously sparks some strange questions when you here the idea come to mind. While aren’t exactly sure how we feel about this one just yet, let’s dive a bit deeper into what the service would entail.

1. “Scalable Subscription Services”

The new CEO for Ikea, Torbjorn Loof, is the mastermind behind the proposed idea to lease the furniture through a subscription type service, or as the media called it after the announcement “The Netflix for furniture”. Although the time range for the leasing period wasn’t stated (since it was just a proposition, and not a for sure service as of now), it would follow a similar stature to that of leasing a car, as we mentioned before. When your specific leasing period would end for that item, you would simply bring the piece of furniture back to the nearest Ikea store, where you could either purchase that item, or even lease something else. The piece that is brought back would then be deep cleaned and would be refurbished for sale in the store once again rather than be tossed away. Although the majority of the press and others who heard the news scoffed at the idea that was proposed, it is important to realize that the new CEO is trying his best to come up with ideas to help Ikea in its future as a new fiscal year has begun. And who knows, maybe he was truly onto something remarkable and never before seen in the furniture industry.

2. What Was The Thought Behind The Idea

Although it seemed like a silly idea to those that heard it first, the driving factor behind the potential leasing program through Ikea wasn’t a terrible one. It was projected in the hope to reduce waste that is produced by furniture being thrown out by families and individuals all over the world every day, and to provide a greener option for the furniture industry in general. Loof truly believed that by continually keeping and cleaning the pieces that would be returned from the lease periods, they would reduce the amount of waste and essentially prolong the life of furniture that is sold in through the company. Of course, eventually those pieces would begin to wear out, as all things do, but it would more than likely prolong the amount of time it would take for it to wear down that much. It would all depend on who is leasing it and using it.

Many also thought that Loof is attempting to make changes to the company by making bolder choices as a new face and a new mind to the company itself. The Ikea company has made many changes since the death of Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, which took place one year ago, who spent his life making the innovations that made the company as successful as it has been. Having to come up with new ideas, and making adaptations with the trends in the furniture industry can be intimidating for a brand new CEO of a company that has made such significant strides throughout many years, so it may be time to give him the benefit of the doubt for this one.

It is hard to imagine renting a kitchen sink or even a spice rack for your home, but maybe that is the future that we are looking at. We rent homes, we rent vehicles, why not lease the specific pieces of furniture that we use every day in our homes? Although it may be a misguided and specifically random idea, we are still going to give Ikea an ‘A’ for effort on the creative front. It may not be a program that takes off any time soon, but it is something innovative that may take shape one day. It does beg the question, would you rent a kitchen sink that was used by someone before you?


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