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Walmart Goes Full-Throttle on Resale With ThredUp

As part of an ongoing mission for fashion dominance, Walmart enters resale.

By Kaley Roshitsh on May 27, 2020

Walmart will unveil its fashion resale partnership with ThredUp on May 27, which will include “exclusive perks” not previously offered to ThredUp customers.

The resale partnership will be “ongoing” and similar to Walmart’s marketplace partnerships where ThredUp owns the inventory similar to a merchant.

Under the partnership, Walmart customers will be able to shop nearly 750,000 “new” and “like new” preowned items across women’s and children’s clothing, with additionally “gently used” accessories, footwear and handbags all available via the web site extension walmart.com/thredup. Items will be uploaded to the web site on a rolling basis.

A year in the making, the ThredUp resale partnership is fueled by the growing interest among consumers — especially Millennials — in resale. In ThredUp’s upcoming 2020 annual resale report, 70 percent of consumers surveyed purchased or expressed a willingness to purchase secondhand.

WWD did not receive comment from ThredUp prior to press time.

According to Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart Inc. e-commerce, the decision to team with ThredUp is broadly about “establishing ourselves as a [fashion] destination.” Over the past few years, Walmart has been keen to expand its affordable fashion offerings, which include the addition of national brands like Champion and Jordache, as well as private label brands like women’s contemporary and plus labels Time and Tru and Terra & Sky, and elevated brands such as Scoop.

Asked why a consumer would shop resale at Walmart over other competitors, Incandela pointed to a few logistical advantages — no doubt serviced by the 4,756 stores throughout the U.S. and thousands of others around the world, as per a January count by Statista.

Uniquely, Walmart’s free shipping policy for orders of $35 and up and free returns to all of its store locations applies to resale, too, with returns also possible directly to ThredUp’s web site for resale items ordered from Walmart. It’s what Incandela cited as a “very compelling” differentiator.

Without sharing specifics on how Walmart shoppers have responded amid the pandemic, Incandela said: “I can tell you that we are seeing more of our customers shopping online.” The only considerable strain for Walmart, and competitors like Amazon, during the present crisis may have been on the logistics and fulfillment end of its operations.

As for how demand for fashion has been shaped throughout the crisis, Incandela referenced a spike in ath-leisure at the beginning of the pandemic, but now cited returning interest for fashion and accessories.

In any case, Incandela sees the entry into resale as “more relevant than ever.”

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