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Nordstrom’s Resale Partner Is Rebranding—Here’s Why

The behind-the-scenes partner of brands launching their own secondhand sales channels has gotten a rebrand of its own.

Yerdle, brainchild of former Walmart exec Andy Ruben, will now be called Trove.

Ruben has built a business on the concept of circularity, helping brands and retailers build out their own take-back back programs and position pre-owned products for sale. Notable partners include Patagonia, Nordstrom, Eileen Fisher, Arcteryx, Tailor Stitch and REI.

Now, the company is looking to broaden its focus and acquire more luxury labels and premium brands as clients—and it needed a new, sophisticated moniker.

“For us, our rebranding was an issue of knowing that every brand is going to need the capabilities we’ve added to the platform,” Ruben said.

The maturation of Trove’s offerings will allow more brands, specifically luxury players, to “control the shopper’s experience and own customer relationships.” They need those capabilities now more than ever, he said.

The items that sell best on the secondary market tend to retail for at least $75—usually more. That’s because savvy shoppers are looking for a great deal on pricier products they might not be able to afford fresh off the shelf.

But when luxury labels are sold through third-party resale channels, “they’re letting someone else speak for them,” Ruben said. The online marketplaces control the consumer’s experience, from the way product is priced, to how it’s presented and described.

“Companies like The RealReal are buying and reselling these brands that have spent a hundred years developing who they are, and how they show up in the world, and how they talk about themselves,” he said.

Once luxury products make their way onto platforms run by others, brand owners have no control over how they come across in the market.

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That’s especially significant when courting new customers, Ruben said. One out of four luxury customers is shopping used, he said, and many of them are experiencing those premium brands for the first time.

“Brands have controlled the consumer experience by controlling supply, and now supply is out of their hands,” Ruben said. “It’s not just about brand experience, it’s about authenticity and product integrity—and no one can do that better than the brands themselves.”

Luxury brands can take back the reins by developing smart resale strategies of their own, with the help of partners like Trove.

To pull interest away from third-party resellers, the labels will need to incentivize both consignors and shoppers with exclusive privileges or brand experiences. Thoughtful, personalized offerings like gift cards or early access to sales will elevate the consumer’s experience with the brand, and encourage them to become loyalists.

“Brands are able to do things that outside retailers can’t,” Ruben said. “If you are selling or buying from Louis Vuitton, they can give you an experience that only Louis Vuitton can give you.”