If you have your eye on some pricey Lululemon workout gear but can't get over the sticker shock, you may be interested in the company's new resale program — if you're not grossed out by the thought of someone else sweating all over your cute leggings, that is.
Lululemon will debut its Like New trade-in and resale program April 22 after testing it in California and Texas. Customers will be able to purchase used clothing directly from the company's website in an effort to promote more sustainable purchasing practices. It's not all about being eco-friendly, though: The program will also help Lululemon capture part of the booming resale market for Lululemon clothing that already exists on third-party resale apps.
To sell items, customers will need to bring their gently used Lululemon items to a store, where they can exchange them for a gift card. The items — no holes or stains allowed — will then be sold on the Like New section of the company's website at a discount, and all profits will go toward the company's sustainability initiatives. Only leggings, tops, and jackets will be accepted — after all, no one wants to buy used underwear or bras, particularly the ones you wore while sweating through a spin class.
Lululemon is the latest retailer to jump on the resale trend, which has been spurred mostly by young, budget-savvy, sustainably minded shoppers who are looking for creative ways to deal with record inflation. Target recently announced a partnership with ThredUp, a popular resale site, and flatpack furniture giant Ikea has instituted a nationwide buy-back program for its used furniture.
While resale efforts fit nicely into companies' sustainability plans, resale also represents a huge, mostly untapped profit segment for most retailers. The resale market was worth about $1 billion in 2015 and hit $15 billion by 2021. From there, it's expected to triple by 2025.