Walmart is no stranger to fashion retail, boasting as it does a wide range of celeb-backed lines and collections, as well as its own labels. Now it’s entering the preowned clothing space thanks to a partnership with online thrift store thredUP.
Instead of simply connecting buyers and sellers, thredUP acts as an intermediary marketplace. Sellers send their stuff direct to thredUP, which then takes care of listings and photography. As such, some 750,000 of these items — all new or “like new” — will now appear on Walmart’s digital storefront from today.
It’s not clear how the partnership works in terms of revenue, although it’ll certainly be a win for both parties. ThredUP gets its reuse ethos shared on a major digital shopping channel, while Walmart gets access to thousands of labels and is seen to be doing the eco-conscious thing in a world of fast fashion and textile waste.
It’s not the first time thredUP has paired with existing retailers – it’s previously worked with the likes of Macy’s and JCPenney on in-store collections — but it is the first time it’s branched out online. And it makes sense for Walmart to take it under its wing, since it has a history of experimenting with startup ventures — this is a way for it to tackle a new market without going it alone.