Lululemon trade-in and resell program launching this month
Lululemon will launch a trade-in and resell option for its gently used leggings, tops and jackets later this month following a successful pilot program prompted by rising consumer prices and a commitment to sustainable purchasing .
The rollout of Lululemon’s “Like New” program comes after the retailer piloted the so-called re-commerce platform for customers in Texas and California, which began last May.
Under Like New – powered by resale technology provider Trove – customers will be able to redeem their previously worn Lululemon items in exchange for a gift card to one of the retailer’s US stores. They can also shop from a selection of used items on a separate page on the retailer’s website. More items should be added every day.
The resale push will help the premium sportswear brand attract customers looking for deals, according to Maureen Erickson, senior vice president of Global Guest Innovation at Lululemon.
“The guest who buys from Like New really…is younger and is a value-based buyer,” Erickson said in a phone interview.
The nationwide debut is unveiled as consumers see higher prices on everything from gas to milk to bread – and on some of their favorite subscription plans, including Amazon Prime. Lululemon said last month it was planning selective price increases to help offset some of the pressures it faced, particularly along its supply chain.
As inflation persists, it could cause more Americans to seek out discounts and feel more comfortable buying second-hand clothes.
Shoppers have already warmed to the idea of second-hand clothes and other items, analysts said. In 2015, the resale market was around $1 billion, according to a Jefferies tracker. This market was estimated at $15 billion in 2021, and is expected to more than triple to $47 billion by 2025.
Erickson added that a number of third-party resale sites, including ThredUp and Poshmark, already offer lightly used Lululemon products.
By launching its own in-house resale platform, Lululemon is looking to recoup those sales and increase repeat customers. And buying used merchandise from the original retailer, Erickson said, gives customers confidence in the quality and authenticity of the products.
“We were able to move [shoppers] to our ecosystem,” Erickson said. “What that allows us to do is stay vertical, which is the nature of our business…where we own the relationship with the customers.”
On Lululemon’s Like New website, ahead of its official launch date, a second-hand women’s “All Yours” cropped hoodie is listed at $49, down from its new price of $108. A pair of pre-owned women’s “Strides Ahead” high-rise shorts are $39, down from $68. And its popular men’s ABC skinny pants retail for $65-$75, up from $128 previously.
The company said it will not accept or resell certain items such as bras and underwear.
And while used merchandise will initially only be sold online, not in Lululemon stores, Erickson hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a physical test of an in-store resale section.
Like New is also seen as a commitment to the environment, with the retailer hoping to stave off some of its merchandise from landfills nationwide. The company is working toward several sustainability goals it set out last fall, including making 100% of its products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030.
“Every brand is trying to figure out, as it should, how we can all live in a more sustainable future. It’s going nowhere,” Erickson said. “And that’s a global priority for us.”
Young shoppers are increasingly turning to sustainable purchases, frequenting thrift stores and reinventing clothes to reduce their consumption. To that end, big-box retailer Target last week confirmed a partnership with ThredUp to list used items for resale as part of its sustainability initiatives.
Lululemon is already considered doing well by Gen Z consumers. The brand just earned a spot on the list of top 10 teenage clothing brands in Piper Sandler’s biannual “Taking Stock with Teens” survey.
In the same survey, which took place from February 16 to March 22, 61% of teenage women and men said they had bought second-hand clothes this spring, and 56% said they had recently sold their clothes at markets. second hand.
Andy Ruben, founder and CEO of Trove, calls this year a “watershed” moment for re-commerce.
“Getting more quality for less money has always been in fashion,” Ruben said in an interview. “And then these things like [higher] gas prices and supply chain disruption…all of this is pushing supply that’s already in our cupboards, allowing for more use of these items.”
Lululemon’s re-commerce site will launch on Earth Day, April 22.