Some of the country’s biggest retail names are following online startups into the cult of thrifting, casting aside long-held fears that selling secondhand goods would cannibalize the market for new goods, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Macy’s and J.C. Penney this past week unveiled partnerships with resale marketplace thredUp Inc. to sell used clothes and accessories in some of its stores. Outdoor brand Patagonia plans to open a temporary store in Boulder, Colorado, this fall dedicated to selling pre-owned goods, its first such location.
Thrifting is gaining traction as shoppers have grown more bargain conscious and concerned about the environmental impact of fashion, particularly the throwaway clothing model popularized by fast-fashion chains.
For traditional retailers, many of whom are struggling with sluggish sales as shoppers buy more online, resale and rental is a way to bring younger customers in the door.
“We looked deeply at Generation Z consumers, and re-commerce came up over and over again,” Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said in an interview, referring to the burgeoning resale market. “It’s not a downside that something has been preowned.”
Thorsten Weber, chief merchandising officer of Stage Stores which has thredUp shops in about 45 of its department stores, said traditional retailers are just beginning to wake up to the impact of resale. “Just like off price became a disrupter, resale will be a disrupter,” he said. “It will be a force in the industry.” Read the full story.