American Eagle Outfitters is the latest apparel brand to sign up with ThredUp’s resale-as-a-service platform, featuring a gender-neutral selection that includes jackets and accessories priced between $10 and $40.
The apparel retailer on Tuesday unveiled RE/AE, an online resale shop featured on ThredUp’s website at ae.thredup.com. Shoppers can also access the page via a “preloved” tab on American Eagle’s website.
The retailer has also teamed up with Snapchat for the platform’s first AR pop-up shop, according to an emailed press release.
The surging growth of apparel resale is enabled by services provided by ThredUp and rivals like Trove and Recurate, which all provide technology and some infrastructure to brands interested in getting into the market.
The retailer’s programming with Snapchat differs. Users can explore a “vintage AE store,” a “virtual pop-up” where pieces will be displayed throughout the space and can click to get product details as well as information about the sustainability impact of buying secondhand.
American Eagle is just the latest retailer to offer preowned goods. More than 40 apparel brands have partnered with ThredUp in similar efforts, and Trove and Recurate are also growing their rosters.
The opportunity is impossible to ignore. According to the latest estimates from ThredUp and GlobalData, the secondhand market in the U.S. is expected to reach $70 billion by 2027. While down from previous calculations, that still represents runaway growth: In 2022, the U.S. used item market grew to $39 billion, per the report.
But while demand is high, it’s not clear that secondhand sales are profitably conducted online. Research from WD Partners found that brick-and-mortar stores have several operational advantages over e-commerce in the space. Several retailers have also found that offering used goods in a variety of categories boosts traffic and sales at physical locations.