Online Thrift Superstore ThredUp Takes On Brick & Mortar, Will Open 5 ‘Smart’ Stores

ThredUp shoes
Courtesy of ThredUp

Online thrift store ThredUp is joining the growing list of successful e-commerce players that are adding a brick-and-mortar component to their business.

The company announced today that it will open its first “smart” store in San Marcos, Texas, on July 20 and will add four additional locations by the end of 2017. (The San Marcos store will be located in the Tanger Outlets.)

The company — which describes itself as the largest online thrift shop — said the stores will be powered by proprietary technology and an abundance of customer insights.

While the e-tailer has boasted online success, James Reinhart, CEO and co-founder, said that the company recognizes a need to create a well-rounded omnichannel experience.

With 85 percent of apparel still bought offline, stores help us reach those who need to ‘see it to believe it,'” Reinhart said in a release. “We’ve found that once customers experience ThredUp’s expectation-shattering quality standards, value and brands, they just keep coming back.”

ThredUp, which has said that the bulk of its customers are fashion-forward millennials seeking more diverse style options at bargain prices, said that 50 percent of its customers had never shopped “used” before trying ThredUp online.

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It’s no secret that traditional retail is a little less fun and a little less fresh than it used to be,” said Reinhart. “Our flexible supply chain and technology-first mindset puts us in a unique position to inject some spice into discount shopping. We want to deliver incredible value and fun, engaging experiences that continue even after the customer has left the store.

For its stores, ThredUp said its technology will allow the company to pinpoint exactly what’s trending by city, and the retailer will then stock shelves accordingly. “This is a huge upgrade from traditional consignment stores that ‘eyeball it’ when buying inventory,” the company said.

ThredUp, headquartered in downtown San Francisco, resells clothing from more than 35,000 brands for up to 90 percent off the original retail value.