John Lewis will launch a furniture rental service for the first time offering customers a chance to try before they buy, and prices will start at around £6 a month.

John Lewis customers will be able to rent desks, chairs, dining tables, coffee tables and sofas for a period of three, six or 12 months before they need to make a commitment to purchase them.

The theory behind the idea for John Lewis, one of the UK’s top furniture retailers, is that customer shopping habits are changing, and more people are looking for access and use, rather than outright ownership. Just as more people are now renting cars and property, two of the most expensive assets people need, the trend will continue into other areas of life like furniture.

The John Lewis furniture scheme is designed to take away the risk of buying large items online, whether it’s an office desk for home working, or a sofa, this initiative allows customers to see the item in the space where it will live, to try before they commit to buying.

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The scheme will work through the Fat Llama’s “Flex Rental” website where customers can explore furniture and shop as normal or select the items to rent. Prices range from £6 per month for desk chairs up to £32 per month for three-seat sofas. Customers then have the option of buying the items at the end of the rental period at a cheaper price, when the payments they have already made are deducted from the purchase price. The longer a customer commits to renting, the lower the rental price and eventual purchase cost.

Initially this service is available only within Greater London, but there are plans to roll it out across the country. The Company is committing to deliver furniture within two working days, and will also provide help to set-up larger items if required.

Johnathan Marsh, Partner & Director of Home at John Lewis has said of the new service:

“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.”

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