New IKEA catalogue heralds price fall

Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA will launch its new catalogue on Monday across 33 countries with an average price cut of around 2% versus a year earlier, reported Dagens Industri.

The price cut will cost IKEA 200 million kronor in Sweden alone, but the store said it expects to benefit with increased sales.

“Customers have rewarded us well when we have cut prices. Hence it is our long term plan to continue doing it,” said IKEA’s head of Swedish sales, P-O Jonnerheim.

As usual, the new catalogue has been greeted with a fanfare of media coverage. “The year’s trend bible”, as Stockholm City put it, will be distributed to 3.3 million Swedish households throughout next week – and a total of 160 million around the world.

The big news from those who have had a sneak preview of the catalogue is that there is considerable emphasis on clearing away bedroom clutter, while as far as material is concerned 2006 will be the year of leather.

After 54 years, “Scandinavian functionalism” is still very much the priority – although as your correspondent’s blistered right hand will testify, a functional Scandinavian kitchen table from IKEA can even now prove something of a challenge.

IKEA now has 216 stores globally, with 14 in Sweden. Germany is its largest single market, accounting for 20% of all its sales. The UK is its next biggest market with 12% of sales followed by the US with 11%, France 9% and Sweden 8%.

Production is skewed towards lower cost countries. Of all IKEA’s products, 20% are manufactured in China, 12% in Poland and 8% in Sweden.

Germany and Italy account for a further 13%, with the remaining 47% of production distributed around the world.

IKEA said its new catalogue will be geared towards women who are their key target audience.

“70% of our customers are women and women make 80% of household purchase decisions,” said Jonnerheim.

The Local/AFP


Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“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,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.