Although we generally, and rightly, associate the image of IKEA as a big furniture retailer in its shopping malls, the truth is that the company is gradually moving into new lines of work. Last spring, the company announced that it would partner with a solar energy provider to offer this service to its customers. This is already a reality in some markets in California.
It is interesting to appreciate this move by IKEA fully. It is a move with dual value for the company. On the one hand, it further enhances its image of concern for sustainability. On the other hand, it opens a new branch of business in line with that philosophy. It should be borne in mind that, for companies like IKEA, the image and commitment to sustainability is very important, considering the sector to which it is dedicated and the materials with which its products are built.
What IKEA Solar will offer
In order to be able to offer its customers access to solar energy, IKEA has partnered with one of the leading solar energy companies in the United States. The company is called SunPower, and it is one of the most established and long-established renewable energy companies in the country. In addition, it has a wide range of services that have been proven over time. Therefore, it is considered a very important natural partner for IKEA in this process.
From this partnership, IKEA proposes that the customer can purchase solar panel systems in its shopping centers. The model is very similar to the one already applied to furniture. It offers up to four different solar energy packages.
IKEA’s solar power packages offer different combinations of solar panels, energy storage, and charging systems for electric vehicles.
The information, at the moment, is accessible through IKEA’s own sustainability store or via the Internet. The user can be redirected to SunPower’s platform to get more information and start the evaluation process. The evaluation processes are the same as when contracting a solar energy service: the bill and the feasibility of the installation will be analyzed.
New, but not that much
While this is something of a novelty in the United States, it is less so for IKEA. The Scandinavian-based retailer already markets solar panel systems in some European countries.
In the case of the United States, at least for the time being, these products will be limited to a specific area of California and customers of the IKEA Family loyalty program. Specifically, the areas that will benefit from this service within California are Emeryville, East Palo Alto, West Sacramento, Burbank, Carson, Covina, Costa Mesa, and San Diego.
This does not mean that the trend will not gradually incorporate the rest of the U.S. market. Generally, many of the company’s sustainability initiatives have been tested first in small geographic areas. So that may be the case here as well.