Ikea assembles wedding for flatpack lovers

An Australian couple tied the knot on Valentine's Day at Sydney's Ikea store, citing their love for the Swedish flatpack furniture giant that had "made them closer".

Ikea assembles wedding for flatpack lovers

Chad Martin and Lynne Klanbida beat almost 500 other couples in a competition to seal their love in the concrete aisles of the furniture store, reported the Daily Mail.

“Our visits to IKEA over the years have actually brought the two of us closer!” exlaimed Klanbida, who was pictured in a flamboyant white dress that looked dramatically at odds with the several-metre high steel shelving in the checkout area of the Sydney store.

The couple invited 80 personal guests while an equally-sized helping of attendees were selected from the Ikea fans who registered their interest on the company’s Facebook page.

The ceremony took place at the entrance to the huge store, which later invited guests to dine in its in-house restaurant that had been pimped with textiles and lighting fixtures from the company’s furnishing range.

The love-birds and their guests dined on a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord.

The wedding cake had a flatpack kind of feel, with lightbrown slaps of icing towering up in an avant-garde construction.

Klanbida described her new husband as “MacGyver with an Allen Key.”

Katie Rynne, who witnessed the wedding, claims the event was a media frenzy.

“It was certainly a little strange,” she told The Local.

“The wedding itself was held in the carpark – guests were seated directly in front of the stage, then there was standing room at the side for IKEA staff and anyone else to watch from.”

“There was quite a bit of giggling from a few people just because the whole thing was such a strange concept.”

While Rynne admits that the flood of photographers, camera operators, and officials made for a “weird wedding”, the couple’s special moment was not ruined.

“As the photos stopped and they got ready to walk down the aisle, you could hear the bride crying as she hugged her mum. The groom was teary as she walked down the aisle as well – they seemed like a genuinely happy couple.”

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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.