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13 October 2020

IKEA launches alternative Black Friday Campaign – A deal for the climate

Ingka Group today announces it will use this year’s Black Friday as an opportunity to meet customers’ needs in ways that contribute to a circular economy. For the first time in its 77-year history, IKEA Retail stores in 27 countries will offer to buy back thousands of pieces of unwanted furniture and find them new homes. Anything that can’t be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign will ask customers to sell back their unwanted IKEA furniture in the #BuyBackFriday campaign, which will run between 24 November and 3 December. Buying back furniture from its customers is just one of the ways in which Ingka Group is transforming to promote and develop circular services and sustainable consumption for customers. 

“We want to offer customers’ sustainable solutions for their furniture they no longer need, even if it’s served them well over the years. So, we are currently exploring new business models to develop commercially viable and scalable offers in the areas of how people bring things into their home, how they care for things they own, and how they pass on the things they no longer need. Rather than buy things you don’t need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” says Stefan Vanoverbeke, Deputy Retail Operations Manager, Ingka Group. Transforming its retail operations is a critical part of the Ingka Group circular journey and the campaign forms part of the overall IKEA journey towards creating a circular and climate positive IKEA by 2030* which includes all IKEA products being made from renewable or recycled materials.

Currently, 45 percent of total global carbon emissions come from the way the world produces and uses everyday products like furniture**, so the campaign represents an opportunity to address unsustainable consumption and its impact on climate change, on the biggest shopping day of the year. 

Ingka Group is exploring new solutions to make circular consumption more convenient for customers.*** and last year gave 47 million recovered products a second life by repacking and reselling products in stores. By 2021 there will also be dedicated destinations in every store where people can sell back their old furniture and find repaired or refurbished furniture at even more affordable prices. 

Anyone who sells back an unwanted item will receive an IKEA voucher to spend on something they need or love. Depending on the condition of the furniture traded in, that voucher could be worth as much as 50 percent of the original price. 

“The IKEA vision has always been to create a better everyday life for the many people, which right now means making sustainable living easy and affordable for everyone. Being circular is a good business opportunity as well as a responsibility and the climate crisis requires us all to radically rethink our consumption habits,” says Pia Heidenmark Cook, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group.  
“A circular economy can only be achieved through investment and collaboration with customers, other businesses, local communities and governments, so we can eradicate waste and create a cycle of repair, reuse, refurbishment and recycling,” she concludes. 

IKEA is committed to take climate action and is fully supportive of the EU Green Deal, urging the EU to build its recovery package ‘to support and accelerate the transition towards a climate neutral and circular economy and the Exponential Climate Action Roadmap**** to halve greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 2030. solutions to help to make a positive impact for customers, communities, co-workers and the planet.


Shortly, more information on #BuyBackFriday will be available on the participating countries’ websites.


* Becoming climate positive is about reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than what the IKEA value chain emits. IKEA will eliminate GHG emissions in line with Paris Agreement, store carbon in land, plants and products, go beyond IKEA – by addressing a footprint larger than the IKEA value chain, take action together – engage with others to realise a 1.5°C world. Read more about the IKEA commitment here 

** Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s 2019 report on circular economy and climate change.

*** Ingka Group are currently exploring how to best prolong the life of products for reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling to design circular, and turn these insights into scalable and commercially viable offers.

Examples from IKEA Retail countries include:

  • IKEA Australia Buy Back Furniture Service has enabled more than 10,000 pieces of furniture to be returned, diverting more than 100 tons of furniture from landfill. It has been live in all 10 stores since October 2019. 

  • IKEA Retail Belgium offers customers different options to give their furniture a second life, e.g. re-selling used furniture, renewing the furniture, repairing, returning and donating to charity. 
  • IKEA Retail Sweden works with online ad market to encourage customers to buy and sell second-hand products, and also held a Family Mega Event with a focus on circularity and textile take-back. During autumn they will open the world’s first second-hand IKEA store, in a shopping centre in Stockholm.  
  • IKEA Retail France in the Reims store, the As-is area is converted to a circular hub where we reinforce affordability through the second life product offer, proudly showing how we are working with circularity (repacking, recycling) and by connecting people sharing knowledge on how to prolong life of oducts or offering services to prolong product life. 
  • IKEA Retail Japan enables customers to sell furniture back to IKEA, to be resold. Within the first year, more than 3,500 items were sold back to IKEA through the scheme, helping customers overcome the problem of what to do with items that still have value but are no longer needed.

**** The Exponential Climate Action Roadmap outlines the global economic transformation required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement on climate.  


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