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Those Nikes you bought might not be exactly brand-new

April 12, 2021, 3:20 PM UTC

The next pair of Air Jordans you buy could already have a few miles on them.

Nike, on Monday, announced plans to begin refurbishing returned sneakers to sell at a lower price.

The shoes will have to be returned within a 60-day window—and Nike says each pair will be inspected and refurbished by hand to ensure eligibility. Those that pass the first test will be sanitized and buffed, then given one of three cosmetic grades: “Like New,” “Gently Worn,” or “Cosmetically Flawed” (indicating a stain, mark, or fading).

The lower the grade, the lower the price.

Buyers of the refurbished shoes will have a 60-day window to return them, should a pair not meet their needs.

The unusual move comes as Nike tries to reduce consumer waste. Shoes that don’t meet quality standards, the company says, will be ground up—and could be reused for things like running tracks, carpet padding, rubber flooring for gyms, and turf fields.

The refurbished shoes won’t be sold in every Nike location initially. Currently, up to 15 stores carry the Nike Refurbished line, with more to come later this year.

Nike has been experiencing a surge of business during the pandemic, thanks in large part to its e-commerce operations. Before COVID-19, the company began to invest heavily in portals that allowed customers to buy direct and made the company less reliant on physical retailers. It has also seen its popularity grow overseas in big markets like China.

Nike shares are up 60% in the past year.

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