Furniture on demand

Subscription pricing models around music and movies are now well established. However, as the world moves ever towards renting instead of owning, everything is up for grabs. IKEA is the latest to enter the fray, with a new furniture rental model for everything from wardrobes to kitchens. Presented as part of IKEA’s push to support the circular economy, the ability to rent one’s furniture has more far reaching implications. The typical cost of furnishing a home is c. £15,000, with a typical refurbishment cycle of say 10 years. Meanwhile, a report by Hiscox suggests that a new kitchen can add as much as 10% to the value of a home. Renting furniture, allows for a much shorter renewal cycle, less need to save up to do this, and the ability to renovate one’s property on demand in line with emerging design trends. From a residential perspective this poses new challenges, such as selling homes with no kitchen (if it gets taken away by the supplier). From a retail perspective, renting provokes a higher number of decision / purchase points that still need to be researched somewhere. Whilst that could conceivably happen online (IKEA has been a frontrunner in digital sales tech), at present it is more likely to happen in a store (where IKEA was also among the first modern innovators in experiential shopping).