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Lululemon launches new resale program amid sustainability push

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Yahoo Finance Live anchors Brad Smith, Rachelle Akuffo, and Dave Briggs discuss Lululemon debuting its new 'Like New' resale program.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live, everyone. Lululemon is debuting a resale program called Like New later this month. Now under this program, customers can trade in the Lululemon items they're no longer using in exchange for a gift card to be used in-store or online. Now customers are able to purchase used items on the retailer's website as well.

And this program comes as the company makes a commitment to sustainable purchasing. Brad and Dave, I'm sure you're big Lululemon fans, so first, Brad, I'll start with you. What are your thoughts on this move? Would you be comfortable buying used workout gear or used athleisure gear?

BRAD SMITH: You know, I'm not really comfortable with buying used workout gear, but maybe some of the other technical fabric based athleisure gear that I can wear in office, the ABC pants that have become amazingly popular in the men's line, particularly, and then some of the other pieces of apparel as well. But particularly, I think this speaks directly to the fact that Lululemon's apparel across categories had been looked at as so durable and for such an extended period of time, that it was also almost barring them from seeing future sales in some other apparel categories.

And so if you had people who were buying pants that lasted so long that they didn't need to buy another pair, unless they went back in to just get another color, you know, that could potentially be a hit on future revenue. But I think this also speaks to the durability over not just the second owner, but even a third owner, potentially, on the price points. Notable that they're launching this as well in correlation with Earth Day on April 22 as well.

DAVE BRIGGS: Got a lot of detailed economic analysis, so I hope you're both taking notes on this one. Ew, no! I would not ever wear workout gear from another human. I thought that maybe it was just me, so I asked my wife and texted several females who all wear Lululemon, who all said, no way, no how, no chance, no way am I ever doing that.

But I think the bigger question for me is, if you have something that's in good enough shape to resell that you haven't sweat a lot in, are you going to sell it for the prices they're offering right now? 5 bucks for tanks, tees, shorts, short sleeve and long-sleeved shirts, 10 bucks for hoodies and sweatshirts that cost you probably $120, $130. And then the highest number is 25 bucks for jackets or coats.

Are you going to sell those back to Lululemon, or are you going to find another outlet, an online retailer, that already does that, that already sells secondary clothing? And my presumption is, you're going to want a little bit more than that.

On the other note, I do wear a lot of Lululemon stuff. And I will tell you, the stuff lasts forever so I can't imagine a huge market for this. I've had this thing for like 10 years, guys. And it still looks new. So the stuff is high quality. I'm just doubting the success overall of this program.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And I mean, you both raised good points because I mean, you have that sustainability. Perhaps, Lululemon, being a victim of its own success, perhaps didn't have a lot of choices other than sort of going into this sustainable market. I'm not a person who wants to buy anybody's used workout gear either. Some things you just need to-- like a mattress, sometimes you just need to just get it fresh. But things like jackets, maybe I could do that.

And it does depend on just how much they give you on these gift cards. If you are going on instead to, like, another reseller, like Poshmark, you're seeing some of those things for sale for at least $40 for certain leggings and things. So I'm sure a lot of buyers will be weighing their options, but yeah, for me, it's a hard pass on some of the more intimate workout gear. I'll just buy it.