How ‘circular commerce’ helps retailers protect their brands

Retail Gets Real 228: Trove CEO Andy Ruben on resale’s dual promise of profitability and sustainability

As shopping for secondhand goods becomes increasingly popular, the resale market continues to grow quickly, and more and more retailers are leaning into the trend. Andy Ruben is founder and CEO of Trove, a startup that enables retailers like REI, Lululemon, Patagonia and Levi's to offer what it calls “circular shopping.”

Resale offers a way to resurface products people already own and found value in at one time, but now currently sit idle. The recommerce process includes making these items searchable, allowing a new owner to discover and purchase them.

Trove’s process helps retailers protect their brand by involving them in the resale process. Ruben compared it with pre-certified used cars: Consumers can buy it from the used car lot, or directly from the owner. Buying from a trusted source provides assurance that the product is genuine and of the expected level of quality.

The powerful thing about resale, Ruben pointed out, is that it also opens doors to new customers. Brands like Patagonia and Lululemon who have implemented this program see, on average, 65 percent of new customers taking advantage of the resale market. And once they’ve been introduced to the brand, they often become customers for life.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about the benefits of the resale market, how retailers can get involved and how sustainable practices contribute to the circular economy.

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