Will Black Friday be the day customers buy IKEA’s environmental promise?
Last month, IKEA announced plans to make itself a fully circular business by 2030. This month in Canada the chain is using Black Friday as a way to promote its newly-launched furniture buyback program.
IKEA Canada is kicking off a campaign called #BuyBackFriday in what it says is an attempt to change the conversation from one of “mass consumption” to one of “mass circularity,” according to Adweek. The campaign allows customers to sell back gently-used furniture (to be refurbished and resold) in exchange for double the usual in-store credit. An advertisement for the initiative is pegged on the chain’s popular Old Billy bookcase, which can be returned for up to $150.
The program that #BuyBackFriday is promoting will also launch in 26 other nations, but not in the U.S. The new initiative replaces multiple different buyback strategies already implemented at IKEA stores around the world with a single, global approach.
Under the Buy Back system, IKEA will assess the value of the used furniture based on its condition and give sellers a store gift card with no expiration date in exchange. Dressers, bookcases, shelving units and many other common IKEA products will be accepted, though not everything the chain sells will be eligible.
Promoting reusability has become a major goal for IKEA, a chain whose product is affordable but often has a short lifespan, putting the company sometimes at odds with consumers’ newfound focus on environmental sustainability.
The furniture giant announced in September the opening of its first test store in Sweden dedicated to reselling damaged and repaired furniture.
IKEA is not the first retailer to direct its Black Friday messaging away from the consumerism with which the shopping holiday is closely tied. REI has for a number of years run a campaign called #OptOutside, whereby it closes its doors and encourages customers and employees to enjoy spending time outside and appreciating nature instead.
- Ikea Canada Wants to Buy Your Furniture on Black Friday – AdWeek
- Ikea Will Buy Back Some Used Furniture – The New York Times
- Can IKEA drive a used furniture movement? – RetailWire
- REIs new OptOutside message: Save the planet – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Black Friday is the right time for IKEA to start promoting its Buy Back program in earnest? Do you expect IKEA to bring this initiative to the U.S.?