If you’re planning to visit Sweden — especially IKEA — don’t bother exchanging your currency for the Krona.
Sweden is the most cashless society in the world, with only 1% of transactions being made with paper bills. Now, IKEA wants to further that theory by switching to completely cash-free stores. The furniture giant will roll out this experiment in an IKEA warehouse in the small city of Valbo, 170 km from Stockholm.
Despite the risky move, Valbo locals have no problem with the switch.
“In the polls, we have conducted, the vast majority of clients said that cash payments are no longer important. We use a lot of resources to manage cash, resources that we want to use for other purposes, ” said Patric Burstein, the store’s customer relations manager.
Surprisingly, there is a multitude of benefits from having a cashless store. Employees spend less time handling paper bills (it only takes an average of 7 seconds to pay for something with a credit card); there are fewer chances of fraud and robbery, and it’s easier for each store to track inventory and sales.
The cash-free experience will start on October 1st, and if it’s successful, the company plans to eliminate cash payments in all of its stores in Sweden.
This move might shock plenty of people, but it’s nothing new for IKEA. The company has been at the forefront of innovation over the past seven decades – they were the first to popularize warehouse-style stores, create affordable yet stylish furniture, and even teamed up with Apple to create a virtual reality-based shopping app so customers could see how their room would look before buying furniture. Going cashless is just one step in what IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad wanted: “a glorious future!”
Would you shop at a cash-free store? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!