Rent your furniture Why
Renting furniture instead of buying it: just a trend or a future model?
Renting furniture instead of buying it: is this the new trend for people who do not want to commit themselves or who move frequently? This is how furniture sharing works.
- Other companies are already showing the way
- This is how furniture sharing works
- What are the advantages of renting furniture?
- And what about Ikea?
Spring 2019. Ikea announces a new offer: In the future there will be Ikea furniture for rent. When you no longer need the rented furniture, it goes back to Ikea, where it is sold as part of the "Second Life" program. The whole thing started as a test in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland. The offer is to be extended to 30 other countries, including Germany, at a later date.
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Similar business models are not entirely new. In the USA, for example, furniture rental has been known for decades. Especially people who move frequently because of their job take advantage of this option. The furniture there is often part of fully furnished apartments, some of which are moved into by a new resident every few months.
Up until now, this concept was hardly known in Europe. But when a furniture company as large as Ikea is renting furniture for. has discovered itself, it makes waves. After movies, music, cars and bicycles, has furniture sharing now reached the masses?
Other companies are already showing the way
Ikea isn't the first company looking to make money renting out classic goods. In addition to the personal means of transport already mentioned, numerous other everyday items can also be rented: smartphones, televisions, carpets, tools, sports equipment, even jeans or children's clothes.
The two Hamburg-based groups Tchibo and Otto have also recognized the trend and launched their own sharing offers years ago. Above all, robust, often reusable products were offered there. But both projects had to give up in the last twelve months. One reason is certainly the corona crisis. On the sides of the two companies, however, it is said in unison: The rental of everyday goods is a niche market whose time has not yet come. Can Ikea do anything about that?
This is how furniture sharing works
Furniture sharing is already working elsewhere: The company with the somewhat cumbersome name Lyght Living Furniture Leasing has been offering temporary furniture since 2011. It started with chairs, desks and sofas, and now the range has grown to include side tables, dining tables, sideboards, shelves, chests of drawers and other interiors. Entire room packages can also be rented. The demand for rented furniture seems to be growing slowly but steadily. In an increasingly flexible working environment, that's no wonder.
The ordering process is very easy: You determine the period for which you need the furniture. You can choose flexible usage times from one month to five years. Depending on this, you will be presented with a selection of the furniture available for this period, from which you can click together your facility. The longer the agreed period, the less you pay per month for the piece of furniture.
Once you have put together your shopping cart, you send the request to the company and wait for feedback. If everything goes well, the furniture will soon be delivered and set up.
What are the advantages of renting furniture?
There are three main benefits of furniture sharing. Perhaps the most obvious: you remain flexible, you can tear down your tents quickly, set up again somewhere else and you don't have to plan any complex moves including rental trucks. What takes up the most space, the furniture, doesn't necessarily come along. This is a relief for employees in the flexible New Economy.
In addition: This solution can be cheaper than buying furniture, especially over short periods of time. In the model calculation by Lyght Living Furniture Leasing, furnishing a three-room apartment costs 189 euros a month. It remains to be seen whether this is so precise. However, you tend to get away cheaper over shorter periods of time.
And if you care about the environment: The providers promise that their solutions are more sustainable, as the life cycle of the furniture is extended in this way. You don't need the furniture? Then someone else will be happy with them! Of course, once you have bought furniture, you can also sell it yourself at the flea market or other classic second-hand exchanges. With rented furniture, however, you have a fixed contract and thus a guaranteed buyer for the good pieces. So you don't have to worry about buying and selling the furniture.
And what about Ikea?
Ikea has meanwhile put its plans to offer "furniture as a service" in other countries on hold because of the corona pandemic. However, the company is determined to expand the program when the retail business is back to normal. Tests are still ongoing in Sweden and Poland, among other things to find out which customers use the service the most.
While many Poles apparently still do not want to do without the furniture, in the first tests in the Netherlands it was mainly students who were interested in the offer. The company seems to be a little more certain in a different business segment: When the service starts in this country, business customers should first be able to rent office furniture on a temporary basis.
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