Lululemon will debut a trade-in and resale option later this month for its soft-wearing leggings, tops and jackets following a successful pilot program driven by rising consumer prices and a commitment to sustainable purchasing.
The launch of Lululemon’s “Like New” program comes after the retailer tested the so-called re-commerce platform for customers in Texas and California, which began last May.
Under Like New – powered by resale technology supplier Trove – customers can shop in their previously worn Lululemon items in exchange for a gift card at one of the retailer’s US stores. They can also buy from a selection of used items on a separate page on the retailer’s website. More items need to be added every day.
The pressure on resale will help the premium brand in the sportswear sector to 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 shopper,” Erickson said in a telephone interview.
The nationwide debut is unveiled as consumers see higher prices on everything from gas to milk to bread – and to some of their favorite subscription plans, including Amazon Prime. Lululemon said last month that it planned selective price increases to help offset some of the pressures it faced, particularly along its supply chain.
If inflation continues, it could drive more Americans to hunt for discounts and feel more comfortable shopping for second-hand clothes.
Shoppers have already warmed up for the idea of buying used clothing and other items, according to estimates by analysts. In 2015, the retail market stood at about $ 1 billion, based on a tracking by Jefferies. That market was estimated at $ 15 billion in 2021, and it is expected to more than triple to $ 47 billion in 2025.
Erickson added that a number of third-party resale sites, including ThredUp and Poshmark, are already appearing with softly used Lululemon weather.
By launching its own in-house sales platform, Lululemon seeks to boost sales and encourage repeat customers. And buying second-hand merchandise from the original retailer, Erickson said, gives customers confidence in the quality and authenticity of the products.
“We were able to relocate [shoppers] over to our ecosystem, “Erickson said.” What it can do for us is stay vertical, that’s the nature of our business … where we have the relationship with the guests. “
On Lululemon’s Like New website, prior to its official launch date, one used women ‘All Yours’ cropped hoodie is listed at $ 49, down from its new $ 108 price tag. A used pair of women ‘Strides Ahead’ high shorts for $ 39, down from $ 68. And his popular ABC slim-fit pants for men cost $ 65 to $ 75 at resale, down from $ 128.
The company said it will not pick up and resell certain items such as bras and underwear.
And while the second-hand merchandise will only initially be sold online, and not in Lululemon’s stores, Erickson does not rule out the possibility of a brick-and-mortar test of a retail section in store.
Like New is also seen as a commitment to the environment, with the retailer hoping to cut off the visit to the landfills of the country from some of its merchandise. The company is working on several sustainability goals it set 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 they should be, how we can all live in a more sustainable future. That’s going nowhere,” Erickson said. “And it’s a global priority for us.”
Younger buyers are increasingly pushing for a move toward sustainable shopping, frequent thrift stores and reinventing clothing items to reduce consumption. In addition, 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 seen as doing well by Generation Z consumers. The brand has just moved up one spot on a list of the top 10 favorite clothing brands for teens, in Piper Sandler’s biennial “Taking Stock with Teens” survey.
In the same survey, which took place from Feb. March 16-22, 61% of teens, both female and male, reported buying their clothes this spring, and 56% said they had recently sold their clothes at second-hand markets.
Andy Ruben, Trove founder and CEO, calls this year a “watershed” moment for re-commerce.
“Getting more quality for less money has always been in style,” Ruben said in an interview. “And then these things like [higher] gas prices and disruption of the supply chain … all of this benefits the supply that is already in our cupboards – make more use of those items. ”
The Lululemon Re-Commerce Site will launch on Earth Day, April 22nd.