Department store chain John Lewis is partnering with product rental marketplace Fat Llama to offer a furniture rental service, allowing customers to enjoy a statement sofa, or a stylish desk to work from home without committing to buying it.
The move John Lewis states is down to how consumers attitudes to renting products, which used to be bought, such as music, tech and cars, have “shifted dramatically” and that the sharing economy, led by companies like Airbnb and Uber, have seen huge growth and brought about a change in attitude to ownership.
Customers will be able to rent John Lewis furniture including desks, chairs, dining tables and sofas for three, six or twelve months and have the option to buy them at any time with payments already made deducted from the purchase price. The longer customers commit to renting, the lower the rental price.
Example of products to rent includes a mustard sofa for 108 pounds a month for a 6-month rental period, lowering to 80 pounds for a 12-month rental, as well as an 8-seater dining table for 40 pounds for 6 months or 30 pounds for 12-months.
John Lewis partners with product rental marketplace Fat Llama to offer furniture rentals
The service will be offered via Fat Llama’s ‘Flex Rental’ website where they already offer tech products such as speakers, iPhones and electric scooters for rent, and they will deliver the furniture within two working days, and if needed help set it up, and collect products at the end of the agreement. Returned items will be cleaned and if necessary refurbished before being rented again.
Initially the service will be offered in Greater London but dependent upon demand could quickly be expanded across the UK, added John Lewis.
Johnathan Marsh, director of home at John Lewis said in a statement “We want to make our products and services as compelling and meaningful to the next generation of customers and how they want to live.
“Attitudes towards renting items and the sharing economy have dramatically shifted in recent years, and we know that renting, reselling items and recycling them is a growing priority for our customers.
“Renting furniture will give more customers access to our high-quality furniture, as well as the latest designs. It also offers them the flexibility to enjoy living with a bold, trend-led piece of furniture that they may not want forever, to easily change style, size and type of furniture if they are moving to a new rental property, or just need a stylish desk to temporarily work from home. All with the peace of mind that they are making more sustainable choices.”
Chaz Englander, co-founder and chief executive of Fat Llama, added: "The world is changing. People are focusing more on access instead of ownership. As we have seen in the US, renting furniture instead of owning it is becoming the new normal for millennials; a generation that is 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.”
John Lewis’ furniture rental will be available with Fat Llama from August 17.
Image: courtesy of John Lewis