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REI testing two used-gear stores in California, Pennsylvania

Published October 16, 2020

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — REI Co-op will expand its used gear and apparel sales and trade-in program with the creation of two standalone stores opening this month.

The pilot test stores are located near the Manhattan Beach, California, and the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, regular REI stores. Products offered at the used-gear stores will be available for purchase by members at discounted prices. The used-gear stores are in addition to the seven new retail stores REI will open in 2020.

To expand used gear to more members across the country, REI launched its online recommerce business in 2018, supplementing its in-store members-only Garage Sale events. REI said its used-gear online business is up nearly 100% year-over-year, in part due to demand from customers who prioritize renting or purchasing used over buying new.

Beginning this month, REI members can trade in used gear through the co-op's online, member-only trade-in program. Members can send in "gently used gear" in exchange for REI gift card credit, while keeping products out of the landfill. The co-op is currently offering up to 50% of the resale value for most items.

"Buying a piece of used gear is one of the best ways you or I can reduce our carbon footprint," said Ken Voeller, REI manager of new business development and recommerce. "Looking ahead, we have a number of product launches that will continue to accelerate our efforts in this space and solve problems for our members around purchasing used gear or trading in their own gear for someone else to enjoy."

Although anyone can shop at REI, members receive benefits. A lifetime membership costs $20 and includes an annual dividend; discounts on classes, rentals or shop maintenance; and access to the used gear trade-in program, Garage Sales, and used gear stores.

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