Ikea no longer Sweden’s most trusted brand

Furniture giant Ikea has been pulled apart by the Swedish public, voted as the fourth most trusted brand in the country despite topping the consumer confidence charts for the past nine years.

Ikea no longer Sweden's most trusted brand

Ikea, which has been voted first ever since the Nordic Brand Academy started its annual survey in 2003, finished fourth this year, after DIY chain Clas Ohlson, supermarket chain Ica, and Google, which was the only non-Swedish company to make the top ten.

“Ikea has historically been teflon clean when it comes to the question of customer confidence,” Robert Gelmanovsky, CEO of the Nordic Brand Academy, the Swedish arm of the Reputation Institute, told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

“They’ve got through scandal after scandal and no-one’s confidence has been shaken. Now it appears the trend of being super-trustworthy has been broken. Ikea is becoming like all the other companies in terms of reputation. It will be interesting when a new Kamprad generation takes over.”

Ten most reputable companies in Sweden

1. Clas Ohlsson

2. Google

3. ICA


5. Apoteket AB

6. Volvo PV

7. Stadium

8. Electrolux

9. Scania

10. Samsung

The survey was based on interviews with over 15,000 Swedes who were quizzed about their confidence in 50 of the biggest companies operation in Sweden.

Clas Ohlson, which topped the list for the first time, was founded in 1918 as a mail order business in Dalarna, central Sweden. The company now boasts 178 stores in four countries, specializing in hardware, electrical, home multimedia and leisure products. It employs around 4,300 people.

Ten least reputable companies in Sweden

1. Ryanair

2. SJ

3. Telenor

4. 3

5. Mc Donald´s

6. Fortum

7. Vattenfall

8. Nordea

9. Skandia

10. EON

TT/The Local/og

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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.