Earlier this year, The North Face took a big stride into the Recommerce market with the release of the ‘North Face Renewed’ programme.
The pilot programme focuses on sourcing the returned, damaged or defective products from their own distribution centres. Items that would of otherwise of been disposed of are cleaned and repaired, before being sold online at thenorthfacerenewed.com.
As part of VF Corporation, The North Face sits alongside a host of brands including Vans, EastPack and Wrangler. The company has highlighted Recommerce as a key part of their sustainability strategy, however, it is very aware of the need to scale the North Face Renewed scheme to make a lasting impact.
“As we address the impacts of our products over their entire lifecycle, recommerce is an important next step in opening new markets and minimizing our impact on the planet,”James Rogers, Director of Sustainability, The North Face
Whilst the pilot North Face Renewed programme only focuses on refurbishing faulty product, there is no reason why the scheme cannot be scaled. The most interesting and potentially impactful method would be through flipping the buyer-seller relationship on its head.
The North Face becomes the customer, purchasing used product back from consumers. In exchange, customers are provided with store credit for their used goods, with their returned products being refurbished and resold through the North Face Renewed portal.
“It’s one thing to say we’re going to bring back a couple hundred units. If this is going to work, we have to bring back hundreds of thousands of units. So we need new systems in place that are streamlined and efficient”Letitia Webster, Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability, VF Corporation
Recommerce is this form not only provides sustainability benefits through increased product
Further reading: Get more ideas for a Recommerce strategy at Recommerce: Future of Retail