Brick-and-mortar retailers are joining forces with online reCommerce companies to bring pre-owned merchandise into their stores, adding to their sustainability efforts. Madewell, for instance, is teaming with thredUP for an offering called “The Madewell Archive,” which is described as a collection of its own branded jeans that it sourced from the reCommerce platform, and follows other recycling efforts from the company.
Each pair of jeans was reportedly chosen by hand, washed, refurbished and put into some of the retailer’s stores to be sold for $50 per pair. That price point, according to Fashionista, is significantly less costly than a new pair of the brand’s jeans that usually cost approximately $130. They were to be available in some Chicago, Nashville, Austin and New York stores beginning on Oct. 14, according to the report, and in California at the start of November. Madewell is no stranger to efforts in sustainability, however.
The company has also worked to grow the lifecycle of its clothing through a “Blue Jeans Go Green” denim recycling initiative. Anne Crisafulli, head of merchandising at Madewell, in a statement per the outlet, “At Madewell, we’re on a mission to create the longest, most sustainable lifespan for our denim, whether you’re purchasing a new pair that are made through sustainable practices or recycling old ones through our longstanding denim recycling program.” (The brand also rolled out a fair-trade denim capsule earlier in 2019.)
When it comes to thredUP, Sourcing Journal says the platform “has helped to invigorate the online secondhand market, which experts believe is on the brink of explosion.” Karen Clark, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, told the news outlet, “The thredUP team is thrilled to partner with Madewell to power a fun secondhand shopping experience that extends the life of their iconic denim.” Clark continued, “Together we hope to pave the way for a more circular and sustainable fashion future.”
Beyond Madewell, other retailers have collaborated with thredUP. News surfaced over the summer, for instance, that Macy’s also began its pilot with the reCommerce platform. At the time, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette described the company as “the world’s largest fashion resale marketplace.” He said many customers are passionate about sustainable fashion and shopping resale. The partnership, he said, “gives us the opportunity to reach a new customer and keep them coming back to shop an ever-changing selection of styles and brands” that it doesn’t typically have.
From Macy’s to Madewell, brick-and-mortar retailers are collaborating with online resale platforms to let customers purchase clothing through reCommerce in their stores.
In Other Brick-and-Mortar News
Walmart is launching a grocery delivery service with an offering that brings groceries right to the refrigerators of consumers. InHome grocery delivery comes at an introductory price of $19.95 a month. Shoppers need to purchase a $49.95 smart lock or garage door kit to take advantage of the service. Those devices come with free installation and a month of complimentary unlimited delivery of groceries.
The program is rolling out in Pittsburg, Kansas City and Vero Beach, Fla. Walmart Senior Vice President of Membership and InHome Bart Stein said per reports, “It’s a service we plan to grow and scale aggressively.” Stein also noted that the three cities represent many “factors across demographics, stores and more operationally that set us up the best and quickest to scale nationwide.”
In other news, Outback Steakhouse is testing machine learning (ML) technology from Presto at multiple restaurants operated by one of its franchisees. The test is focused on the restaurant lobby but could grow to the kitchen, dining room areas and curbside pickup. Presto Founder and CEO Rajat Suri said per reports that the technology assists restaurants in fixing blind spots, noting that “managers can’t be everywhere at all times.”
Cameras capture and make sense of the actions of waiters, hosts, and customers to bolster diner satisfaction. The technology can track extended wait times, cleanliness (or lack thereof) of lobbies, and the number of diners who leave without being acknowledged or shown to a table. Staff members and managers can get real-time notifications of incidents before patrons leave angry reviews online.
And Wahlburgers, the burger bar and restaurant made famous for its association with movie star Mark Wahlberg, has rolled out a mobile ordering app that offers exclusive rewards for users. The app lets diners order on their phones and access limited-time offers, a store location feature and some exclusive content. The app is also connected to the WahlClub loyalty program, and diners will get a loyalty point for every dollar spent using the app.
To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.