Houdini Bets Big on Re-services

After years of testing the waters with reuse, repair, recycling and rentals in its many concept stores, Houdini places its biggest bet yet on RE-services.

“Second hand-garments tend to fly off the shelves and rental is growing rapidly each year,“ Houdini Sportswear Retail Manager Phrida Lindblad explains to Suston Magazine. Houdini has been working with rental, reuse, repair and recycling systematically for some years, and have found that the demand for these services is difficult to quench. “People seem to be ready for new ways of consuming, so both in terms of the environment and our bottom-line, scaling up these services makes a lot of sense.”

In an unprecedented effort to scale up, Houdini recently allocated half of the 100 m2 floorspace of their newest store in Täby, Sweden, to rentals, second-hand and repairs. Rentals currently include shell garments, insulation garments and their iconic Power Houdi. The second-hand products work through a consignment system, whereby a customer who turns in a garment receives 50% of the earnings once its been sold. If they then choose to spend that money on a new Houdini product in one of their stores they also receive a 20% discount.

“The brilliance of this three-tier system [new products, rentals and second-hand],” explains Phrida Lindblad, “is that it allows Houdini to offer the same great product at different price levels for different needs.” Whereas Houdini’s customer base had traditionally been composed of hardcore users – climbers, skiers and runners who would use their products a lot – these new services have brought in a whole new segment of customers. “For example, we have some regulars who never shop, only rent – I think that’s pretty cool.”

With such encouraging initial results, one might expect Houdini to put on their best poker face and play the cards close to vest. But contrary to all commonly accepted competitive norms, Phrida Lindblad was more than happy to share Houdini’s trade secrets with Suston Magazine: “If Houdini has been a part in inspiring others to follow suit, that’s awesome! It’s important to keep an open source mentality when working with sustainability.”


Image: Houdini

Jonathan Fraenkel-Eidse

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