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Urban Outfitters will enter resale market

Urban Outfitters is introducing Nuuly Thrift in fall 2021.

The rapidly growing second-hand resale niche is gaining a significant new player.

Specialty retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. is introducing Nuuly Thrift, a resale marketplace launching in fall 2021 for consumers to buy or sell women's, men's and kids' apparel and accessories. Nuuly Thrift will be a sister platform to Nuuly Rent, the subscription rental service for women’s apparel opened by Urban Outfitters in 2019.

Nuuly Thrift will not only serve as a resale marketplace for Urban Outfitters brands, as customers will have the opportunity to resell products from any brand. When customers sell an item on Nuuly Thrift, they will have two options: transfer their earnings directly into their bank account, or redeem them for Nuuly Cash, which is worth 10% more at Nuuly Thrift and other Urban Outfitters brands.

For example: if a customer is paid $100 for a dress on Nuuly Thrift, that customer will have the option to convert it to $110 in Nuuly Cash, which can be spent back on Nuuly Thrift, or at Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, BHLDN, or Terrain, both online and in stores.

Nuuly's end-of-life rental inventory will also be sold through Nuuly Thrift. Urban Outfitters intends Nuuly Thrift to introduce new customers to Nuuly Rent and vice versa, and for Nuuly Cash to incentivize customers from both platforms to continue to spend within the secondhand space, extending the lifespan of their clothing.

[Read more: Survey: Second-hand retail sales will reach $77 billion by 2025]

According to Urban Outfitters, its customers are very active in the resale market, with three-quarters having made secondhand purchases and nearly half having sold secondhand items in the past year. The retailer also reports that products from Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters are consistently the top-performing brands in resale markets. 

Urban Outfitters will be able to encourage an active customer database of millions of customers across its brands to sell on Nuuly Thrift, and proceeds from sales on Nuuly Thrift will be redeemable as Nuuly Cash, which can drive incremental full-price sales back into the company’s various brands.

“With Urban Outfitter’s millions of existing customers, our merchandising and creative expertise, our deep technical capability, and the potential for Nuuly Cash to drive incremental purchases at our family of brands, we believe the stage is set to capitalize on a very large resale market opportunity,” says David Hayne, CTO, Urban Outfitters, and Nuuly president. “Our goal at Nuuly is to build a creative marketplace community – built around a best-in-class technology platform – where customers can be fashion-conscious, eco-conscious and financially conscious, all in one place.”

Urban Outfitters Inc. operates a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, FP Movement, Terrain, Urban Outfitters, Nuuly, and Menus & Venues brands. The company’s brands offer lifestyle-oriented general merchandise and consumer products through 644 stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe, global websites, and catalogs. Free People, FP Movement and Urban Outfitters wholesale sell their products through department and specialty stores worldwide, digital businesses and the company’s retail segment.

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