According to ThredUp’s 2017 Resale Report, the thrift industry is expected to hit $33 billion by 2021, and the consignment market is growing 20 times faster than the broader retail segment.
With e-commerce continuing to grow at healthy percentages, these secondhand e-tailers are the ones leading the charge.
See who made the list and why.
The secondhand-shopping site took things global last year when it launched international shipping to 44 countries. Known for being the world’s largest thrift store focused mainly on selling accessible items, including shoes, apparel and handbags, shoppers have access to 35,000 brands at up to 90 percent off retail, with 1,000 new items added to ThredUp.com every hour. It also launched a consignment program, Luxe, last summer, which opened its market to luxury sellers and shoppers. The service also provides a “Clean-Out Kit,” where women can send everything in their closet, including both high-end and non-luxe product — in one bag, to one place — which ThredUp then separates. Sellers earn commissions of up to 80 percent. Growth and expansion continues for the business, which launched in 2009 by CEO and co-founder James Reinhart. It has expanded to approximately 1,000 employees across its San Francisco headquarters, four distribution centers and its New York press office. Next, the company aims to focus on continued expansion of ThredUp Smart Stores after opening its first three brick-and-mortar locations in California and Texas in 2017.
This app elevates the social level of the consignment process by offering an engaged platform where users can like, comment on and share one another’s items. According to the company, which launched in 2011 by founder and CEO Manish Chandra, members spend about 20 minutes per day on the app, opening it seven to nine times daily. With over 25 million items for sale from over 5,000 brands, Poshmark aims to grow, and after raising another $87.5 million in Series D funding in 2017 — bringing its total funding to nearly $160 million — the company is on the right path. In addition, it launched Poshmark Stylist Match, an in-app social styling engine featuring a voice-enabled feature for Amazon Alexa, which now connects buyers and its community of over 3 million seller stylists for real-time styling sessions. In 2018, Poshmark is poised to expand into additional categories and is readying to go global.
Union & Fifth
As a nonprofit designer consigner, founded by Christena Reinhard, Union & Fifth raises money for other charities by selling donated and pre-owned designer clothes, shoes and handbags. In 2017, the online store opened a pop-up boutique in California for a few months, enabling the company to connect with shoppers and donors. Union & Fifth also gained prominence specifically in the footwear industry, attending FN Platform last summer and continuing its partnership with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation — surpassing $10,000 in donations for the organization. Since its launch, the nonprofit has fundraised over $1 million for more than 250 charities. This year, Union & Fifth played a large role in disaster relief for victims of the recent hurricanes and wildfires. And while garnering money for charities is a goal, Union & Fifth is also focused on sustainability. The organization is committed to keeping product out of landfills, making sure used clothes, shoes and accessories either find a new home, get turned into something else with upcycling partner Magpies & Peacocks or are recycled intelligently.
The Real Real
The luxury online consignment shop opened its first permanent flagship store in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. The shop features dozens of new items each day, and its brick-and-mortar presence will continue this year with the opening of more temporary pop-up shops in three to four markets in the U.S. Last year, The Real Real teamed with Stella McCartney to promote secondhand and advance shared values of sustainability and the circular economy in luxury fashion. Since its launch as a two-person operation in 2011 by CEO Julie Wainwright and chief merchant Rati Levesque, the e-tailer has grown to 1,500 employees with $173 million in venture funding and nearly $500 million in revenue in 2017.
The retail and consignment store that showcases rare and limited-edition sneakers on behalf of its sellers — including Adidas Yeezys, NMDs, Ultraboosts and coveted Air Jordans — marked impressive growth in 2017. According to co-founders John McPheters, CEO, and Jed Stiller, managing partner, Stadium Goods has grown 500 percent year-over-year and has been in business just a little over two years. It expects to grow as much as 300 percent in 2018. Last year, the company expanded into Europe by partnering with online platform Zalando and raised $4.6 million in a Series A funding round led by Forerunner Ventures. Stadium Goods physically holds all products it sells, allowing it to compete with traditional retailers’ fulfillment efficiency, with delivery in as little as one business day. With an omnichannel offering — a recent app launch, brick-and-mortar and direct-to-consumer — sellers have much exposure while also earning 80 percent of the agreed-upon sale price. In 2018, Stadium Goods is focused on expansion of its direct-to-consumer business, online and brick-and-mortar, and through partnerships and collaborations.
Ever-popular sneaker reseller Flight Club has generated major hype since its debut in 2005 by founder Damany Weir. With a trusted reputation, the company continues to be a main player in the consignment game with an e-commerce site and two brick-and-mortar locations in New York and Los Angeles. Since doubling the size of its New York flagship in 2016, Flight Club remains a primary source for sneaker enthusiasts, offering rare Air Jordans, Nikes and Adidas kicks, and has established an 80/20 relationship with resellers. And in 2017, it extended its consignment program by announcing that it would be accepting used pairs from select sellers.