August 3, 2021

Nike enters the resale business

2 min read

With its new Refurbished initiative, sports company Nike wants to contribute to circularity in the footwear business–and incidentally becomes a reseller of its own sneakers.
In short, Nike Refurbished works according to this model: After a shopper returns a pair of shoes to Nike, Nike Refurbished tidies them up and brings them back to the stores.

In detail the concept works like this: After a shopper returns a pair of shoes to Nike within a 60-day return window, eligible footwear is added to the Nike Refurbished lineup. Each pair is inspected, cleaned, sanitized and refurbished by hand, and then given a condition grade: ‘like new’ (maybe worn for a day or two before being returned), ‘gently worn’ (a little longer) and ‘cosmetically flawed’ (think: something like a small snag that happened in manufacturing). Subsequently, the sneakers are put back on sale–at select Nike Factory, Nike Unite, and Nike Community stores.

Footwear cleaning for Nike's Refurbished program

Footwear cleaning for Nike’s Refurbished program

Once the shoes land back in a Nike store, the price is based on footwear type and condition grade. Messaging on the boxes shall make it easy to see what kind of shoes are inside, the condition grade, and more. With a scan of the box’s QR code, customers can check out additional information about Nike’s Move to Zero sustainability program.

Nike Refurbished box

Nike Refurbished box

Returned product that doesn’t make it to Nike Refurbished still has a chance at a second life, too: “We work closely with our community partner to donate gently worn footwear. Or, if it’s truly at the end of wearable use, we recycle it into our proprietary Nike Grind [material recycling program],” the company states.

Nike Grind is Nike's material recycling program

Nike Grind is Nike’s material recycling program

At launch Nike Refurbished is available in 15 U.S. Nike stores, but as the sports giant has already announced there are plans to continue scaling and to „expand to more U.S.-based retail destinations throughout 2021 and beyond.“

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