IKEA’s “Buy Back” Program a Boon for Marriage Counsellors & Truck Enthusiasts Alike

Article by Ingmar Grön


STOCKHOLM—Back in 2019 IKEA announced that it was going to launch a Buy Back initiative that would help its customers “take a stand against excessive consumption.” Since then, the world’s largest furniture manufacturer has taken a sure step towards its dream of becoming a “climate positive” company by 2030.
As promised, IKEA has been issuing vouchers to its customers in accordance with the type and condition of a given return item — which is then re-sold, donated to charity, or recycled.
Company executives continue to deny that this initiative is in fact a garden-variety loyalty program masquerading as environmental virtuosity, or that the vouchers issued to customers, have ever been based on the value of Canada’s unofficial currency — Canadian Tire money. The latter claim has since been debunked by Gazette reporter Edna Farmer, who recently went undercover as a run-of-the-mill customer helping-out her niece by returning an unwanted shelving unit. For the sake of journalistic integrity and transparency, the niece part of the story was true and all vouchers were immediately submitted to their intended parties.
To Edna’s dismay (and Dick’s elation), in order to be eligible for trade-in, the furniture must be returned fully assembled (my truck upgrades and pallet stacker don’t seem like such foolhardy purchases now, eh?! —Ed.). IKEA officials appear to have no interest in seeing their wares returned in flax boxes that they would then have to Build Back Better themselves.
Not having to disassemble IKEA furniture will come as a great relief to customers (and their counsellors) who’ve had to seek couples’ therapy after assembling it; and who now consider the company’s standard-issue 0.5-cm hex tool a symbol of the purest evil. However, it will not be welcome news to those customers who cannot afford to lease forklifts and cube vans to return their BILLY shelves and MALM beds. A case to be made for friends with big trucks, to be sure.

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