Retail company, Urban Outfitters Inc., is gearing to launch a secondhand marketplace called Nuuly Thrift.
Through Nuuly Thrift, sellers will be able to list their products from any brand and transfer any earnings directly to their bank account or redeem it for Nuuly Cash, which is worth 10 percent more but can only be used at Urban Outfitters various brands. The company plans to launch an iPhone app for the resale platform this fall.
Urban Outfitters’ move into the preloved category comes as an effort to not only attract new customers but also retain existing ones, elongating the lifecycle of both the customer and merchandise. More importantly, it will help the retailer better compete against resale platforms such as Poshmark and Depop.
“Our job is to grow,” said David Hayne, president of Nuuly and chief technology officer for Urban Outfitters. “From a thrift standpoint, we know that if we don’t provide the platform, it’s not going to keep sellers from selling on other platforms. These secondhand experiences are happening whether we’re playing in them or not.”
Several brands and retailers have made similar moves to gain control of the resale market. Most recently, Lululemon dove into the secondhand resale market, enabling the athleisure wear company to reduce its resold products’ carbon footprint by up to 50 percent. Meanwhile, H&M’s Sweden-based second-hand resale marketplace Sellpy is eyeing expansion to more than 20 countries as the resale market has continued to gain steam over the past year.
The ongoing momentum in the fashion resale market has even led some resale platforms to go public in recent years. In March this year, ThredUP, for example, moved to file an S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering.
Growth in the fashion resale market, which is now a $33 billion business, is largely being fueled by demand among younger consumers. According to GlobalData’s January 2020 survey, about 40 percent of Gen Z and 30 percent of millennials purchased secondhand products in 2019, which is 14 percentage points and 9 percentage points higher than in 2016, respectively.