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Nike Dips a Toe into Resale with Debut of Shoe Refurbishment Service

Nike Refurbished
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Nike has launched a new service to refurbish gently used or defective products and get them back on shelves at a discount.

Touted as part of its “Move to Zero” sustainability efforts, Nike Refurbished will take like-new, gently worn or cosmetically flawed shoes that have been returned within the company’s 60-day “wear test” window, and fix them up to be resold at Nike stores. The price of the used goods is based on a “condition grade” that is determined during the refurbishment process, as well as the type of shoe. All Nike Refurbished shoes also will be eligible for the 60-day wear test offering.

Nike Refurbished has launched at 15 stores across the U.S., most of them outlet locations, and the company said it plans to continue scaling the program throughout the year.

Returned product that doesn’t qualify for the Nike Refurbished program will be donated through community partners or become “Nike Grind,” a material created from old Nike shoes that can used to for applications including the creation of sports and playground surfaces as well as home and office products like carpet padding or rubber flooring.

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While Nike shoes are hot items on resale marketplaces like StockX and Resku (a Nike-specific resale marketplace that is authorized by the shoemaker), Nike Refurbished marks the company’s first move toward in-house resale.

The timing is ripe as consumers increasingly seek out sustainable products and brands. In fact, some experts suggest that in-house recommerce operations will become increasingly commonplace as brands move to own the resale of their goods, rather than leaving it to third-party marketplaces such as eBay. Nike has recently made a number of other moves to build a more direct relationship with its consumers, including ending its partnership with Amazon in late 2019, and terminating wholesale partnerships in lieu of building its DTC business.

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