Outdoor retailers put down roots in used goods

As with many trends, used goods and refurbishment programs lend themselves to certain retailers more than others. Outdoors retailers are one space where they’re growing, but electronics retailers are also well-known for having robust refurbishment and repair programs, mainly because so many of those products are both expensive to make and difficult to recycle, not to mention that they’re often made from valuable resources that must be mined and manufactured first.

That’s led to many retailers either repairing electronics, harvesting them for parts or in some cases processing them into scrap. Popular electronics retailers like Best Buy have seen great success with the services they offer customers; according to a Best Buy spokesperson, Best Buy plans to sell more than 1.1 million products through refurbishment programs this year.

The proliferation of rental and re-commerce models like Rent the Runway, which recently brought in an additional $200 million in financing, is another driving force behind more retailers, including apparel, getting involved in refurbishment or buyback programs to help keep clothing in use for longer. Complex logistics, however, create obstacles for many retailers trying to enter the re-commerce space, according to Ann Starodaj, director of sustainability at Optoro.

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Sarah Foulke

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