Exploring barriers to implementing product-service systems for home furnishings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The home furnishings sector faces substantial sustainability challenges resulting from increasing consumption and premature disposal. Innovative business models that provide access rather than ownership hold promise for addressing these challenges, but past research has found that such models face many barriers to success. As the environmental benefits of these business models can only be realised if the models are successfully implemented, it is important to understand what these barriers are and how to overcome them. Our study seeks to understand these barriers in the case of home furnishings leasing, which has seen increasing engagement by both companies and consumers but has not been well explored in academic literature. Through semi-structured interviews with experts from the four firms known to offer home furnishings leasing in Sweden, we identify a number of barriers, including financial and economic concerns, product design, capabilities, relationships, end-users, and policy. We conclude that while some of these barriers are common to leasing of other consumer goods, home furnishings do present some unique challenges due to their bulky nature, wide range of products, and consumers’ unfamiliarity with the concept of home furnishings leasing. At the same time, the interviewed companies’ experiences provide lessons regarding strategies to overcome these barriers. For example, emphasising added benefits, streamlining the choice of products available to lease, and partnering with other actors to acquire capabilities are some of the ways the companies have addressed the barriers they have encountered. Better understanding the barriers and identifying opportunities to overcome them can help increase the likelihood of successfully implementing leasing business models and thus help reduce the negative environmental impacts of home furnishings consumption.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics and Business

Keywords

  • Business models, Furniture rental, Home furnishings, Leasing, Product-service systems
Original languageEnglish
Article number126286
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume295
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes