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Published 18 December 2012 13:33, Updated 19 December 2012 04:13
Car sharing company GoGet has struck a deal with retailer IKEA to provide vans for customers to take home their flat-pack furniture and Swedish meatballs.
Shoppers at the IKEA store in Tempe in Sydney’s inner south-west will be able sign up to GoGet at the checkout to use one of 10 GoGet vans in the car park. IKEA will also provide 14 reserved parking spots for customers using GoGet vehicles from other locations.
GoGet chief executive Tristan Sender says IKEA made the first approach but he saw it as a good opportunity and the companies are now discussing expanding the program on the east coast.
GoGet, which operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and recently expanded to Brisbane, now has 1000 vehicles and 25,000 members. Sender says the membership is increasing 50 per cent year on year and he expects the partnership will help drive that, both through direct registrations and the wider marketing association with the IKEA brand.
“It is expanding the customer base of people interested in sharing a car as an alternative to owning a car or an alternative to fleet management or an alternative to getting your furniture home from IKEA,” Sender says. “I think some people will go to the store and sign up and use a van on the same day and other people will see that it’s available and think that it’s a good idea and sign up later from home. It’s a bit of both.”
The partnership is thought to be a first for Australian retail but IKEA PR manager Angela McCann says the retailer offers car sharing in France, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.
“By offering this at IKEA Tempe, we are growing our base of services for IKEA customers, making their shopping trip easier, quicker and more convenient,” McCann says. “In addition to our home delivery, finance, picking and delivery, and assembly services, the GoGet offering is a convenient, cost-effective service. One of the key benefits is the ability for customers to take purchases home the same day, no matter how you get to the store and is the ideal solution for our DIY customer.”
The availability of the vans and dedicated GoGet parking spots has been agreed between the two companies - whereas the in-store sign-up is a trial that will run from December 20 to February 10. McCann says this may be extended, depending on demand.
Meanwhile, the Victorian Department of Transport is testing leasing electric vehicles to GoGet.
This gives GoGet members access to electric vehicles in the Melbourne CBD, starting at 101 Collins Street and the Alto Hotel on Bourke Street.
GoGet, owned by Carshare Australia, was founded five years ago and is part of a growing business trend called collaborative consumption whereby consumers share a pooled resource. Overseas counterparts include US-based ZipCar.
The GoGet’s fleet includes city runabouts, transport vehicles, sports cars, and cars with baby seats, pet hammocks or roof racks. Some are parked on suburban streets, while others are in centrally located parking stations. Members book online or by phone and pay a monthly membership fee as well as by the hour when they actually use a car.