Gap is the Latest Retailer to Get Into Resale, Partners With thredUP
Gap is the latest retailer to dip its toes into the secondhand apparel market, following the lead of Macy’s, Nordstrom and others, in a bid to stay relevant in an industry shaken by changing consumer tastes. The company announced last week that it has partnered with resale platform thredUP, which bills itself as the largest online consignment and thrift store. In select Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, and Janie and Jack stores, thredUP bags and labels will now be available for customers to mail in their clothes, in exchange for credits to use at Gap’s portfolio of stores. Macy’s, J.C. Penney and J.Crew’s Madewell brand have also partnered with thredUP in recent months.
Total Retail's Take: The growth of the secondhand apparel market is an interesting consumer trend, one that's symptomatic of consumers' and brands' increasing focus on sustainability. Retailers are looking to leverage this trend to boost their social consciousness in the eyes of consumers, while at the same time creating a new revenue stream. The overall resale market in the U.S. today is valued at roughly $20 billion, with the potential to reach $33 billion by 2022, according to a report by Cowen & Co. in November. And the struggles of apparel retailers such as Gap have them searching for innovative ways to drive shoppers into their stores and onto their websites. Whether resale is that solution remains to be seen, but it's worth a shot. Standing still and doing nothing isn't the answer.