Shoppers on the Walmart website can peruse thousands of pre-owned items for women and children and get free shipping from Walmart with a minimum order of $35 or more. Returns are handled at a retail location close by.
“Everything that we do has been focused on making Walmart a destination for fashion,” Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart’s eCommerce business in the U.S., told CNBC. “We are absolutely seeing this as an opportunity to support a bigger portion of our customers’ closets.”
The retailer has been negotiating with ThredUp for about a year.
Walmart has seen an eCommerce surge during the pandemic, particularly in the grocery area, where it has always dominated. Cleaning products and hair color have also seen a surge in popularity. However, Walmart has been trying — even before the pandemic — to drive online shoppers towards general merchandise and more high-margin areas like fashion so that its eCommerce business will finally become profitable.
To boost its fashion offerings, Walmart purchased plus-sized women’s apparel company Eloquii and menswear company Bonobos, developed exclusive apparel lines with Ellen DeGeneres and Sofía Vergara and revived trendy NYC brand Scoop.
Partnering with ThredUp helps to expand Walmart’s fashion offerings as well as capitalize on the trend of sustainability. As an online thrift store, ThredUp accepts clothes, shoes, handbags and more in good condition from customers. If the merchandise passes a quality inspection and ultimately sells, the customer gets a portion of the profits. Items will be dual-listed on ThredUp and Walmart’s websites, according to ThredUp CEO and co-founder James Reinhart.
Walmart is hoping lower prices on name brands will be a good fit for a customer base that’s dealing with furloughs, layoffs and tight budgets. Reinhart says ThredUp sales have remained strong throughout the pandemic, though tops are now outselling bottoms and leisurewear has seen an uptick.
There are second-hand eCommerce niches for just about anything people are searching for.