Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 19th, 2017 at 12:30 pm
Ikea knows Portland is a place where bikes — and especially utility and cargo bikes — are taken seriously. With that in mind, the global home furnishings giant plans to launch a pilot program aimed at encouraging people to ride and share their new Sladda bicycle.
The Sladda is aimed at people who use bikes to get things done. They offer it with front and rear racks and even a rear cargo trailer. Given how solid the bike looked and Ikea’s unique ability to distribute it to the masses, we thought its launch back in January was noteworthy.
This Saturday (April 22, which happens to be Earth Day) Ikea will announce a lower price for the Sladda and details of a new partnership with Spinlister, a bike sharing platform that allows people to list and rent bikes.
We’ve been in touch with Ikea Portland spokesperson April Minister to learn more.
She said starting April 22nd, Ikea customers who are part of the special family discount program, can purchase a Sladda for $349, that’s $150 off the normal retail price of $499 and $50 off the standard family discount price of $399. The lower pricing will last for just three months.
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And here’s where the sharing part comes in: Sladda owners will get a discount code that allows them to rent out their new bike to other Spinlister users without any listing fees for three months between April 22nd and July 22nd (Spinlister usually takes a 17.5% listing fee based on the daily rental price). With typical bike rental rates on Spinlister of about $25 to $35 per day, it’s feasible you could recoup all the money you spent on you Sladda by renting it out in those first three months.
“We’re confident that once they ride Sladda, they’re going to love it!” Minister shared via email last week. “Since Portland is really Bike City, USA, our global Sustainability Innovation team saw Portland as the natural place to pilot this collaboration.”
The Sladda seems like a solid bike (I haven’t ridden one yet, but have seen them and heard good things from others) and this is a nice promotion; but there’s one problem with the Ikea part of the equation: The store happens to be in a place that is very poorly connected to the rest of the bicycling network. The streets are not as safe and pleasant to ride on as they should be. Major improvements are coming to NE Cornfoot and NE 47th (two great connections to Ikea and the airport from northeast Portland neighborhoods); but those projects are still a ways out.
If Ikea really wanted to boost sales of the Sladda — and do something very earth-friendly — they should consider lobbying the City of Portland and the Port of Portland to build better bicycle infrastructure around the store.