Furniture, as I’m sure you’re aware, isn’t exactly cheap.
I mean sure; there are furniture brands like IKEA that make furniture cheaper to procure, but still one would argue…
Is it that much cheaper though?
Indeed, one can’t help but empathise with lil Johnny here, who once said these words on the streets:
“If only there was a rental-based furniture system… life would be so much easier!”
IKEA: Hold my beer.
If you’ve always expected furniture to be permanent, in the sense that they cannot be returned unless you’re exchanging (or just trying to scam a refund), don’t worry; you’re not alone. For honestly, if you were to ask someone back in the early 2000s whether rental furniture was doable, they would’ve probably just asked you to go back home and sleep.
“You siao arh?” they’ll probably ask.
But as lil Johnny also said: “Times change!” And indeed, what seemed to be a lofty thought in the past, has all but materialised into reality as on 3 April 2019, IKEA announced that it’ll be rolling out furniture rental to all its main markets in order to satiate its increasingly conscious and transient customers.
According to The Straits Times, the world’s biggest furniture group, primarily known for its low-cost disposable items, had first expressed its intentions of leasing its desks, beds and sofas back in February.
However, it’s only on Wednesday (3 April) that they really fleshed it out, at an event conducted at its first “sustainable” store in Kaarst, western Germany, which was opened in 2017.
“Why the sudden move though” you wonder. “How does rental furniture even benefit people?”
Well, apparently, the rental pilot was pushed forth by an acknowledgement that many consumers switch homes frequently, but can’t fork out money for furniture every time they relocate. The notion was expressed by Mr Jesper Brodin himself, chief executive of Ingka Group( which owns the majority of IKEA stores).
Also, environmentalism definitely played a part, with IKEA surveys showcasing that 90 per cent of its customers is prepped to adjust their behaviour.
“You should be able to have a lovely home, and a good conscience, and you should be able to afford it,” Mr Brodin said.
IKEA’s own strategic objectives will be met too
According to The Straits Times, IKEA will definitely benefit from this new system as well, considering how rental furniture will satisfy three main strategic objectives of theirs:
- Environmentally conscious
In fact, this, said IKEA’s finance chief Juvencio Maezru, fits the increasing tendency of young people to rent anything, from music to cars.
IKEA, which boasted global sales of €39 billion (S$60 billion) last year (2018), will be testing out a series of subscription-based leasing offers in all 30 of its markets by 2020. This is to ensure that products are reused as often as possible before recycling occurs.
The rental tests will also tell IKEA whether its products are durable, an insight that will be passed on to designers who are currently working to make furniture that’s easier to take apart and shift.
How much will the rental furniture cost though?
Because let’s face it; if the rental furniture is exorbitant in costs we’re probably not gonna get it.
While we don’t quite know the exact cost of the furniture, we do know that over in the Netherlands, IKEA’s offering students the rental of a bed, desk, table and chairs for a monthly fee of up to €30 (SGD$45.65)
So assuming that IKEA Singapore doesn’t try to shortchange local residents (which I believe they won’t because they’re so cool), the price rates should be around the same, disregarding fluctuations in economy and whatnot.
So for a house, it should be a few hundred dollars a month for everything.
And so… what’re your thoughts?
Personally, I don’t quite feel the need for rental furniture just yet, but that’s perhaps attributed to the fact that I don’t stay in a dormitory of own, nor have I just moved into my own house.
And that’s why I’m gonna ask you:
What do you think of this whole rental furniture system? Will it be as feasible as one of those Pokemon rental factories?
And one more thing…
Can rent for army bunks or not?