Swedes rush after Ikea paintings

Swedish furniture giant Ikea’s decision to sell paintings by well-known artists was a wise move, with the warehouse’s entire stock running out in 12 minutes.

Some 6,000 paintings will be sold, 1,560 of those were bought this morning in the store’s warehouse at Kungens Kurva.

“Three of them were sold out at the same time,” said Tina Björeman, Ikea spokesman, according to Dina Pengar.

“It was Ernst Billgren, Denise Gråstein and Jan Håfström which went in five and a half minutes.

The paintings were being sold at all Ikea warehouses in the country and long lines were reported in Malmö and at Barkarby near Stockholm. Some waited all night at Kungens Kurva to buy a painting.

“One person was here already at 10:30 p.m. and has waited all night,” said Björeman.”

The paintings are being sold for 1,695 kronor each. Shoppers have to mount the paintings themselves.


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.