Merchant Innovation

Target Wants To Buy Consumers’ Unwanted Clothes

Target made its name off of aggressively priced yet mainstream chic apparel selection, but a new partnership with a forward-thinking startup could add an even more affordable category of clothes to its stores.

In a post to its website, online consignment startup thredUP announced that it was partnering with Target to help customers easily and smoothly trade in their old clothes for store credit at Target. Customers need only to fill up a retailer-provided bag — called a “Clean Out Kit” — with the clothes they no longer want, drop it off at certain Target locations or ship it and then receive gift cards loaded with their compensation of upfront reimbursements for items valued at less than $60.

The move allows Target to expand its product offerings at a fraction of the cost of opening up new product lines. The retailer is covering the cost of shipping thredUP’s Clean Out Kits to and from customers locations, though, but such a policy might encourage more consumers to participate in the program to make it a financial wash at the very least.

The news marks a busy few weeks for thredUP and CEO James Reinhart. TechCrunch reported that the startup just secured $81 million in Series E funding in September for a total of $125 million to date.

“We founded thredUP to make it incredibly convenient for consumers to clean out their closets and shop for quality secondhand clothes,” Reinhart said in a press release. “We saw a huge opportunity to leverage Internet penetration and the growing acceptance of buying and selling online to bring a delightful, frictionless secondhand experience to the masses.”

As thredUP and Target move forward with their push for secondhand designer clothes, at least they can rest assured knowing consumers have as few obstacles as possible in their way.

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