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Target Beta Tests Massive ThredUp-Powered Resale Platform

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Target has reunited with ThredUp to launch a curated recommerce site that the latter’s founder and CEO James Reinhart contends is “larger than every other branded resale shop out there…combined.”

Though CNBC reported Friday that Target launched its ThredUp-powered initiative in late March, it appears neither company has done much to promote the site, which is labeled as being in its “beta” phase. The webpage does not come up when searching “Target ThredUp” on Google, and neither company appears to have included any mention of their collaboration on their websites or in their email communications.

While both brands have yet to release a formal press notice of their collaboration, Reinhart publicly acknowledged the ThredUp x Target site’s existence earlier this week when he shared the article CNBC published Friday on his personal LinkedIn. The post has received more than 100 reactions.

“Proud to help jumpstart Target’s Resale efforts,” Reinhart wrote. “Appreciate their leadership in showing ways retail can be more circular.”

Target’s new resale site currently lists more than 365,000 products, including secondhand items from the retailer’s owned brands—Cat & Jack, Universal Thread and A New Day, to name a few—as well as from brands it doesn’t typically sell like Anthropologie, Free People, J.Crew, Lululemon Athletica and Zara. Though the vast majority of products—more than 90 percent—are in women’s apparel, the platform also lists more than 18,000 products in girls’, more than 6,000 in boys’ and nearly 4,000 in handbags.

The Target x ThredUp site features many of the same items listed on ThredUp’s official site, but not all. The Target site, for example, lists around 19,000 Lululemon products, while thredup.com offers just over 22,000. In many cases, items on the Target platform are listed for a few dollars less than on ThredUp. In others, specifically in cases where ThredUp is running a sale, products are slightly cheaper on the resale giant’s official site. According to Target, items on its resale platform are priced at up to 90 percent off.

Target first partnered with ThredUp in 2015. The half-year pilot saw the retailer provide shoppers with a “Clean Out Bag” that they could fill with gently used children’s and women’s clothing, handbags and shoes. The initiative covered the cost of shipping and rewarded participants with Target gift cards for those items ThredUp accepted.

Though ThredUp began as a resale platform in its own right, its so-called “Resale-as-a-Service” business has flourished lately. In the annual report it released last month, the company said it began restructuring its RaaS offerings as “sources of revenue” in mid-2021. As of Dec. 31, 2021, the company had 28 RaaS clients, including Adidas, Crocs, Gap and Walmart.

“As more brands join our platform, we gain access to a greater share of closet cleanup happening across America,” Reinhart said on a call with investors. “This supply that comes in from our varied RaaS clients can then be sorted and used to power the growth of branded resale shops of other clients, which is to say the more RaaS clients, the wider the sources of supply and the larger the potential growth of each client’s resale shop.”

Last week, Pacsun unveiled its own ThredUp-powered site, Pre-Loved Pac. The platform allows the teen retailer’s customers to clean out their closets for store credit and shop pre-loved clothing. Unlike Target’s resale initiative, the Pacsun website exclusively lists Pacsun goods.

ThredUp is not the only recommerce business courting retailers. On Tuesday, Lululemon unveiled plans to launch Lululemon Like New, a trade-in and resale program it will operate in partnership with Trove. The launch, which is scheduled to coincide with Earth Day next week, follows a two-state pilot it conducted at more than 80 participating stores last year. All profits from the scheme will go to supporting the goals outlined in Lululemon’s so-called Impact Agenda, including manufacturing 100 percent of its products with sustainable raw materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030.

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