Ikea is seeking to shift its purchase model for flat pack furniture towards a rental model as it responds to growing concern about the environmental cost of disposable furniture.
The initiative would see Ikea adapt to a new generation of millennial purchasers who are increasingly eschewing ownership in favour of leasing arrangements in everything from cars to entertainment.
Ikea has also been hit by a growing reticence among younger shoppers to make the effort to travel to its remote stores, transport the furniture home and then go through the hassle of self-assembly.
Under the subscription solution, items such as desks and sofas would be reused as many times as possible before finally being sent for recycling.
Announcing the move, Jesper Brodin, chief executive of Ingka Group, the holding company behind most Ikea stores, said: “Testing out opportunities for leasing offers is one of the ways we are challenging ourselves to deliver on our transformation strategy. Climate change and unsustainable consumption are among the biggest challenges we face in society.”
The rental system is currently being tested in the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland with the aim to expand to 30 markets by next year.
Ikea has also teamed up with artists to promote its latest sustainable store in Greenwich, London, which includes a Learning Lab instructing customers on how to upcycle old products.