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IKEA to Buy Back Used Furniture This Black Friday in 27 Countries

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IKEA to Buy Back Used Furniture This Black Friday in 27 Countries

IKEA created the world's longest outdoor bookcase on Bondi Beach, Australia to celebrate its 30th birthday and promote literacy on Jan. 31, 2010. James D. Morgan / Contributor / Getty Images News

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has a plan to make this year's Black Friday a little greener.


As part of its bid to become more sustainable, the store will allow customers to sell back their used furniture for up to half of its original price.

"Sustainability is the defining issue of our time and IKEA is committed to being part of the solution to promote sustainable consumption and combat climate change," UK and Ireland IKEA retail manager Peter Jelkeby told The Guardian.

The "Buy Back" program is the latest environmental initiative from the furniture store, which promised a bevy of green upgrades two years ago, including pledges to phase out single-use plastics by 2020, add more veggie options to its cafeteria menu and offer zero-emissions deliveries by 2025. The company's ultimate goal is to be fully circular and "climate positive" by 2030, Jelkeby said.

A circular business is one that recycles or reuses its products, BBC News explained.

"A circular economy can only be achieved through investment and collaboration with customers, other businesses, local communities and governments, so we can eradicate waste and create a cycle of repair, reuse, refurbishment and recycling," IKEA chief sustainability officer Pia Heidenmark Cook told The Associated Press.

The new Buy Back program will run from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3 in 27 countries. Those countries include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the UK, but not the U.S., The New York Times reported.

"It is a country decision, and IKEA Retail U.S. will not participate in the buyback program," an IKEA spokeswoman told The New York Times. "The U.S. is currently exploring ways to bring Buy Back to the country in the future. This year, they will use the traditional Black Friday to focus on other sustainability initiatives and to promote sustainable living among their customers."

For those countries that are participating, the program will have the following rules, according to BBC News:

  1. It will generally only apply to furniture without upholstery, like bookcases, tables and desks.
  2. Customers must first log the item they wish to return online for an estimated value, and then return it fully assembled to a store.
  3. Customers will receive an IKEA voucher based on the condition of the furniture they return. An "as new" item will earn a voucher worth 50 percent of the item's original price; a "very good" item with a few scratches will earn 40 percent and a "well used" item will return 30 percent.
  4. Any item that cannot be resold will be recycled.

While this particular deal is being organized alongside Black Friday, IKEA eventually plans to have a place in every store where it will both buy back and resell used furniture.

"Currently, 45 percent of total global carbon emissions come from the way the world produces and uses everyday products, so Buy Back represents an opportunity to address unsustainable consumption and its impact on climate change," Hege Sæbjørnsen, country sustainability manager at IKEA UK and Ireland, told The Independent.

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