Selfridges and John Lewis will offer repairs, rental and second-hand products in bid to improve fortunes as High Streets suffer slump
- Selfridges is exploring repairing and reselling furniture as part of ‘Project Earth’
- John Lewis will trial renting a range of furniture with prices from £17 a month
- Retail giants are addressing a shift in shopper behaviour during the pandemic
Selfridges and John Lewis are to offer repairs, second-hand products and rental amid concerns many households have reached ‘peak stuff’.
Rather than new kitchen equipment, laptops and furniture costing thousands, the department stores will offer cheaper, refurbished items.
Alternatively, new items can be rented then returned and recycled when they are no longer wanted.
Today, Selfridges is announcing that it is looking in to repairing and reselling products as part of plans to radically improve its sustainability.
It aims to repair furniture in-store, for example replacing sofa cushions or broken chair legs, in the style of hit BBC series The Repair Shop in which household items that were thought to be beyond saving are repaired.
Selfridges has announced that it is looking in to repairing and reselling products as part of plans to radically improve its sustainability dubbed Project Earth by the retail giant (file photo)
Separately, John Lewis is offering the option to rent a middle-class lifestyle. It will be possible to enjoy a statement sofa or a stylish desk as the result of a partnership with the world’s largest product rental marketplace, Fat Llama.
Shoppers can choose from 50 items with prices starting at £17 a month for a desk or chair rented for 12 months and rising for larger goods on shorter contracts.
Selfridges said its proposals are part of a Project Earth sustainability initiative. It will experiment for eight weeks in stores and online, working with 300 brand partners.
Global managing director of Selfridges Group, Anne Pitcher, said consumption habits have been ‘broken by the pandemic’, with customers taking greater consideration of the environmental impact of their shopping choices.
She said: ‘Supporting change in the way people shop is essential to building a more sustainable business.’ The company is also committing to using materials from certified, sustainable sources across its products by 2025.
Johnathan Marsh, director of home at John Lewis, said renting furniture offers customers ‘the flexibility to enjoy living with a bold, trend-led piece of furniture that they may not want for ever’, with ‘the peace of mind that they are making more sustainable choices’.
John Lewis is offering the option to rent a middle-class lifestyle with shoppers able to choose from a range of 50 products, the cheapest being £17 a month for a desk (file photo)
Fat Llama’s co-founder and chief executive Chaz Englander said: ‘As we have seen in the US, renting furniture instead of owning it is becoming the new normal for millennials, a generation moving house every 12 months.
‘With this being our first step into furniture rental, it was important for us to find a partner that could supply high quality furniture at scale. John Lewis could not have been a better fit.’
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