K-rauta is a partner in the joint trial intended for urban home-improvers, who can rent high-quality battery-powered Ryobi tools and Kärcher cleaning devices online using the Liiteri.net service and collect them from the Liiteri service point, which is open 24 hours a day and in Helsinki's abattoir district, which has good public transport links. The service will later expand to Otaniemi in Espoo. Customers can also choose to have the tools delivered by the environmentally-friendly, crowd-sourced PiggyBaggy service.
No need to own all tools
The circular and sharing economies are major forces of change around the world. For several urbanites, storage space is at a premium and tools may not be needed very often. The joint trial has been initiated to investigate the business opportunities for renting and lending. The service offers customers the opportunity to try out high-quality devices in the comfort of their own home, and enables them to renovate their homes without owning their own tools.
K-rauta wants to find out how it can offer better overall solutions to improve its customers' everyday lives.
"At K-rauta, we have traditionally seen our job as selling as many new machines and devices as possible. But perhaps not all of our customers want to buy all of the tools they need for their home-improvement projects. They may not have space to store tools, and they may not really need the tools when the renovation is finished. Being able to rent tools may provide the necessary spark to get a home-improvement project going, and we at K-rauta can play a role in helping to plan renovations and selling materials. It will be fascinating to see how interested our customers are in this rental service," says Virpi Viinikainen, K-rauta's Chain Director.
The Liiteri project is being run by IT start-up CoReorient in collaboration with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the University of Helsinki's AARRE research project, which is financed by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes). The pilot project to study the attractiveness of new consumer services will also involve the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), Technology Industries of Finland, SER-kierrätys (the official recycler of electrical and electronic equipment), the City of Espoo, Purjebägit Oy, Kierrätysverkko Oy, Metrosuutarit, pyörähuoltoovelle.fi and Kauppahalli24.