Macy's, J.C. Penney Both Announce Deals With thredUP
In less than 24 hours, two major department store chains forged a partnership with online consignment giant ThredUp. On Wednesday, Macy’s announced during its second-quarter conference call that it had launched a pilot with the resale site at 40 of its stores across the country. And yesterday, J.C. Penney said that 30 of its store locations would soon offer a selection of thredUp’s secondhand women’s apparel and accessories to be curated weekly. The apparel rental and resale markets have enjoyed a steady boom in recent years. According to thredUp’s 2019 Fashion Resale Market trend report, the resale market is worth $24 billion today and is expected to hit $51 billion by 2023 — growing 21 times faster than traditional retail over the past three years.
Total Retail's Take: Recognizing that they need to evolve their businesses to account for shifting consumer behaviors, including younger shoppers embracing rental and resale goods as a way to access designer brands and luxury goods at lower-than-retail prices, Macy's and J.C. Penney have entered into separate partnerships with thredUP. The department store sector has been particularly hard hit in recent years, driven by decreases in store traffic as more brands choose to sell direct to consumer, among other factors, forcing retailers such as Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Kohl's to find other ways to attract customers to its stores. In fact, Kohl's this week announced that it will be launching “Curated by Kohl’s,” a program that will highlight products from new and emerging brands as discovered by Facebook in more than 50 of its stores as well as its website. Unique brand partnerships, omnichannel order fulfillment (e.g., BOPIS), and memorable in-store experiences are just a few of the ways that department stores such as Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Kohl's can forge a successful future in an increasingly digitally dominated retail environment.