1) ThredUp launched a platform to help department stores enter the resale market, which could help it stay ahead of the competition.

WHAT HAPPENED: The clothing resale company announced a new service that will allow retailers to offer an in-store consignment program built upon its infrastructure. JCPenney, Macy’s and Stage stores will participate. WHY IT MATTERS
  • ThredUp’s new offline offering is more beneficial for ThredUp than the department stores it’s partnering with The new service will be expensive to build and challenging to integrate at first, but partnering with legacy department stores positions ThredUp as a forward-thinking retail technology. The partnership will spread brand awareness far and wide, attracting a new audience in geographies that have little to no access to the resale economy. It is unlikely that ThredUp will be a major traffic driver for department stores—after all, their customers might not be familiar with the practice.
  • The department stores it partners with won’t be investing in the infrastructure that resale requires, a benefit in the short-term but a limiter in the long-term. Resale and rental are growing sectors that will continue to reshape the retail landscape. While partnering with ThredUp is a great start for weakening department stores, it is not a long-term solution. Their learnings might be limited because ThreadUp will provide the inventory, technology and logistics, which means department stores will merely provide physical space for ThreadUp to utilize. Down the road department stores should invest in the resale infrastructure themselves rather than just leasing their space to a third-party.