- A year after piloting a recommerce program in California and Texas, Lululemon is set to expand the offering nationwide come Earth Day. As of April 22, all U.S. consumers will be able to shop resale options online and exchange used Lululemon clothing for a gift card, the company said in a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
- The pilot included more than 80 stores and "was met with an overwhelmingly positive response," according to the company. The majority of inventory that Lululemon received back from customers was deemed "good as new" and able to be resold.
- All of the profits from the resale program, dubbed Lululemon Like New, will be reinvested to further Lululemon's sustainability goals, which include making all of its products with sustainable materials or end-of-use solutions by 2030.
Like many others across the retail space, Lululemon is pursuing a multi-year plan to improve its environmental impact. Launching a recommerce program — in partnership with resale technology provider Trove — is part of that strategy. In particular, the company is focused on creating circularity within its model, reducing waste and developing products with sustainable materials.
"At Lululemon, we're deeply committed to creating quality products built to last and that are better for people and the planet," Celeste Burgoyne, president of the Americas and Global Guest Innovation, said in a statement. "Bringing Lululemon Like New to all U.S. guests is a major step toward a circular ecosystem and achieving our Impact Agenda goals to reduce our environmental footprint."
Lululemon's resale program spans across a number of categories, including pants, tops, shorts and jackets, and the retailer says new items are added daily.
The athletics space more broadly has jumped on board the opportunity in resale, with Nike launching a refurbishment program for gently worn or like-new footwear a year ago, Fabletics partnering with ThredUp in July last year and Allbirds debuting a trade-in resale program in February this year. Adidas in October took the concept a step further, launching a reuse program that accepts apparel from any brand.
In addition to advancing a commitment to circularity, reselling used apparel and footwear can also fetch a decent price, especially with the growing interest in buying secondhand clothing. For example, Allbirds sells its pre-owned Tree Dashers for between $79 and $89, down from $125. However, the costs associated with refurbishing products can quickly add up, and resale programs have to consider which items are worth the price considering they sell at a markdown.
Lululemon has been on the move in other ways recently. The company launched its first tennis-focused collection last month, followed by a golf collection, and also officially entered the footwear space. The company in 2021 surpassed $6 billion in revenue for the first time, overtaking Under Armour.