Used Retailers Seeking Brand Partners
In an industry that is currently pinched by price and held back by headwinds, a growing appetite is emerging among consumers and investors for something new and different that can serve as an antidote to the current gloom.
Oddly enough, this “new thing” may actually turn out to be something not new at all, as second-hand clothes are currently seeing a surge in transactions this month – and this year.
Whether you call it resale, reCommerce, circular economy, secondhand, or any other understatement, there’s one thing everyone can agree on in this category and that’s that it’s hot right now.
“Merrell is launching a multinational product take-back and resale program called ‘Merrell ReTread,’ which will save 300,000 pairs of shoes from landfills,” the hiking shoe maker said in a statement. A press release and the social media campaign last week, in which he called the first such “recovery” initiative a major step towards building a more circular economy.
And Merrell isn’t alone, as retailers ranging from Target to Pacsun have both taken recent steps to boost second-hand sales of their branded apparel that will not only tick the sustainability box, but also sell. at a fraction of the price of the new commodity. It’s a selling point whose time has come as price increases combined with reduced purchasing power have combined to turn consumers into belt-tightening, deal-seeking machines.
In both cases, Target and Pacsun are embracing resale via white label, the thredUP resale industry’s Retail as a Service pure play offering.
In announcing the launch of “Pre-Loved Pac”, the California-based retailer said its “360 Resale Program” will allow customers to clean out their closets on credit and then buy pre-loved clothes directly through its own website.
“We are committed to digital innovation and to providing services that our customers will love and use,” said Mimi Ruiz, vice president of e-commerce at Pacsun, in the company’s April 6 release. “Our community has already embraced sustainable fashion and we wanted to incorporate it into our brand experience,” she added.
The old is the new New
Everywhere you turn lately, there seems to be another ad, using a different description, marking the start of a new way to swap and buy gently used clothes and shoes.
As publicly traded players like thredUP, Poshmark, The RealReal and others have expanded the category to more people and products, brands are also joining the bandwagon at a record clip, bringing everything from Oscar de la Renta from dresses to Allbirds sneakers to GoreTex skiwear in the booming like-new market in just the past three months.
Additionally, niche players such as StockX are also looking to cash in on the ‘old is new’ trend via IPO plans as part of a deal that could value the sneaker retailer up to $4 billion. .