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Levi’s Resale Whisperer Brings Google Exec Aboard

A year after rebranding from Yerdle to Trove, the tech firm behind Levi’s, Patagonia, REI, Eileen Fisher and Arc’teryx’s resale platforms is bringing on new leadership as circularity and secondhand dominate conversations on fashion’s future.

Trove announced Gayle Tait’s appointment as president and chief operating officer Tuesday. Most recently senior director of global retail and payments activation for Google Play, Tait holds more than two decades of general management, marketing and commercial experience spanning consumer goods, payments, e-commerce and digital marketing, and spent nearly 15 years at L’Oreal. She will report directly to CEO Andy Ruben.

“I’m thrilled to join Trove at this important inflection point for the industry,” Tait said in a statement. “Trove is building a market-leading technology platform that enables resale for the world’s most innovative brands across verticals that range from sportswear and outdoors to contemporary fashion to luxury. With many brands putting sustainability at the heart of their business, this is a pivotal moment for retail, when there is so much potential to make a significant positive impact on the environment.”

Tait’s appointment arrived as Trove finished 2020 strong. In the second half the year, Trove recorded more than 180 percent year-on-year sales growth, it said. In October, it launched Levi’s SecondHand, a buy-back program that enables consumers to exchange pre-owned Levi’s apparel in-store for a gift card. According to Trove, its recommerce partners now eliminate 11,000 pounds of waste on average each year and divert 41 percent of carbon dioxide from entering the air for every item that is purchased used versus new.

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“The pandemic has obviously driven more shopping online, but it’s also made consumers more mindful about how their purchases affect other people and the planet,” Ruben told Sourcing Journal. “That awareness is leading consumers to seek out more sustainable shopping options like recommerce. At the same time, Covid-19 has stressed many consumers’ budgets, leading them to turn to resale to be able to purchase high-quality products from the brands they aspire to own. Both of these behavioral trends have gained momentum during the pandemic and are contributing to the explosive growth we’re seeing in the resale market.”

The booming market has likewise lifted fashion resale platforms like ThredUp and Poshmark, which both announced plans to go public late last year. In a January report, retail media research startup Future Commerce identified resale as one of the top 10 trends that will shape commerce this year.

According to Paris-based pre-owned fashion platform Vestiaire Collective and Boston Consulting Group, this trend can be expected to continue. A study the pair published late last year says the resale market, estimated to be worth between $30 billion and $40 billion, could see a compound annual growth rate of 15 to 20 percent globally over the course of the next five years.