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5 Green Practices for Retailers That Work

Rental and Repair

While rental is nothing new in retail, the categories available for rent and resale are expanding and some retailers are turning to repairing items to be more eco-friendly.

Last year, for example, The Home Depot made rental easier when it launched new “Rent Online, Pick-up In Store” technology, offering things like demolition and landscaping tools for customers to reserve and rent online up to 30 days in advance. After piloting online reservations in the Atlanta, Charlotte and Houston markets, The Home Depot made the system available to rental customers across North America.

Wilson Sporting Goodsrecently opened an Upper East Side of Manhattan store, which features Wilson’s first-ever “Equipment Room,” where shoppers can rent select product to playtest before purchasing. Customers will be able to leverage this unique program for sporting goods needs across baseball, softball, tennis, pickleball, basketball, football, volleyball and more. Rental fees range from $5-$10 per day based on product, and all rental fees will be taken off the final price if purchased.

IKEA U.S. began giving its IKEA Family members the opportunity to sell back their gently used IKEA furniture in exchange for an IKEA store credit at participating stores. Following a successful pilot at the Conshohocken, PA, store in September, the retailer launched its Buy Back & Resell service at in 33 stores across the U.S. from November 1 – December 5, 2021. It then further expanded the program this Spring, making it a permanent feature in all 37 stores across the U.S. Customers get store credit, and the furniture is resold in the store’s as-is department.

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Meanwhile, Neiman Marcus hopes to extend the life of luxury items through garment mending and alterations, shoe and handbag restoration, resale with Fashionphile, and clothing donation with Give Back Box. The department store retailer extended the lives of over 350,000 luxury items through alterations, restoration, and resale in FY21, it said in its 2021 ESG Report.  The retailer reported that at Neiman Marcus, customers who engage with alterations spend 13% more than those who don’t.

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