Outdoor Industry Poised ‘Leader’ of Resale

REI announced a new trade-in program ushering outdoor gear vendors Cotopaxi and Nemo into the re-commerce space on its platform (online only at the start). The trade-in works across brands and retailer websites. While REI still maintains pricing for the items, the brands benefit from online take-back and customer loyalty opportunities like gift cards.

Over the last year, REI’s Used Gear’s online shop has seen remarkable success — growing more than 100 percent. “We’ve seen our Used Gear business serve as an entry point to the outdoors,” said Ken Voeller, director of circular commerce at REI, who also noted an uptick in physical resale.

“As multibrand retailers figure these things out, they expand to all of these brands. It’s exponential, not linear [growth],” said Andy Ruben, founder of Trove which puts on REI’s re-commerce program. Re-commerce, he said, reimagines “multibrand retailers as warehouses and customers as suppliers” and sets the “outdoor industry up as a leader because they already produce such high-quality items.”

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