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Walmart makes major move into fashion with resale venture

Online fashion resale giant ThredUp is obtaining a formidable new partner.

Walmart is jumping into the fashion resale market via an online partnership with ThredUp, a resale platform for fashion and accessories — at mass market prices. 

Starting May 27, Walmart’s e-commerce site will feature a dedicated ThredUp section that features nearly 750,000 pre-owned items across women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, footwear and handbags. The partnership is part of Walmart’s broader fashion strategy to expand assortment and be a fashion destination for customers – particularly millennials.

According to Walmart, all items have been evaluated and selected by ThredUp for sale on based on their overall quality and condition. Only pre-owned garments and shoes deemed “new” or “like new” by ThredUp, along with “gently used” accessories and handbags, are available.

Customers who purchase ThredUp goods via Walmart will receive free shipping on orders of $35 or more and free returns to Walmart stores or ThredUp. An upcoming study from ThredUp indicates 70% of consumers have bought or are now willing to buy secondhand. 

“Over the last few years, we’ve focused on expanding our assortment of quality, on-trend, accessible fashion to help customers outfit themselves no matter their personal style or budget,” said Denise Incandela, head of fashion, Walmart U.S. e-commerce. “In fact, we’ve added nearly 1,000 brands to our online assortment, including national brands like Champion, Jordache and Levi Strauss. We also offer private label brands Time and Tru, Terra & Sky, Wonder Nation and George, and customers love our exclusive, elevated brands like Scoop, Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara and EV1 by Ellen DeGeneres.”

Although ThredUp has partnered with other national retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, and Madewell, Walmart is by far the largest traditional retail partner the digitally native startup has collaborated with. 

“We are excited to join forces with Walmart to power a sustainable, secondhand shopping experience unlike any other,” said Jenn Volk, director of product management, ThredUp. “From Calvin Klein and Nike to Coach and Michael Kors, this digital partnership enhances Walmart’s fashion offering with fresh brands at amazing prices that their customers will love.”

For Walmart, partnering with ThredUp provides an opportunity to boost apparel sales that were relatively soft in a mostly otherwise impressive first quarter. It also gives Walmart an entry into an online vertical – fashion resale – that chief rival Amazon currently does not participate in. And the collaboration aligns with Walmart’s broader efforts to integrate digital innovation into its online retail platform, such as folding the capabilities of its e-commerce subsidiary and Jet black text-based shopping service into the organization.

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