John Lewis expands furniture rental service following successful trial

John Lewis Partnership has reported a return to first half profit after a COVID-pandemic hit loss last year.
"As we look ahead, there is significant uncertainty." : Sharon White.
// John Lewis expands furniture rental service by doubling range on offer
// Previously only available in London, the service will now also be extended to outside the capital
// The expansion follows a successful trial period

John Lewis has announced it will expand its furniture rental service by doubling the range on offer following last year’s successful trial.

The department store retailer said the range on offer through its rental service will now grow to 200 furniture lines, ranging from bed to bar stools, and sofas to dining tables.

Previously only available in London, the service will now also be extended to John Lewis customers outside the capital.


John Lewis said last year’s rental trial, through which is partners with Fat Llama, saw almost all of of its rental collection snapped up within the first 48 hours.

The retailer said this highlighted “the demand and changing attitude towards renting goods which would previously be bought”.

It also found that thirds of those using the service were furnishing rented accommodation and just over a quarter had recently bought their homes.

Meanwhile, desks and office chairs were among the top rental picks as lockdown saw customers repurposing rooms continued work from home.

“We’re seeing a real shift in consumer behaviour towards usership rather than ownership, the weak signals were already there pre-Covid, with the emergence of car-sharing schemes, hot-desking and services like AirBnB, but the pandemic has turbo-charged this with an almost back-to-the-future move towards sharing, reusing or trading within communities or groups – renting a dress or sofa is the modern day equivalent of borrowing sugar from next door,” John Lewis Partnership futurologist John Vary said.

John Lewis home furnishings head buyer Nicola Waller said furniture rental offers “quick convenience” and any need for long-term commitment.

“It is also a sustainable choice for our customers and the expansion of our rental scheme reflects our ambition to offer more sustainable ownership options and forms part of the commitment we made to our customers that all of our John Lewis product categories will have a ‘buy back’ or ‘take back’ solution by 2025,” she said.

Customers using the service are able to rent John Lewis furniture for 12 months at a time, followed by the option to purchase the product with payments already made deducted from the purchase price.

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