UPDATE: October 12, 2021: Urban Outfitters on Tuesday launched resale marketplace Nuuly Thrift. It will initially be available as an iOS app.
Urban Outfitters is the latest company to get in on the secondhand apparel trend. On Tuesday, the retailer introduced Nuuly Thrift, a resale marketplace that will launch in the fall, according to a company press release. Shoppers will be able to buy or sell women's, men's and kids' apparel and accessories.
Nuuly Thrift will be the sister brand of Nuuly Rent, a subscription rental service for women's apparel.
Nuuly Thrift will accept products for resale from any brand. When an item sells, customers can transfer earnings into their bank account or redeem them for Nuuly Cash, which is worth 10% more at Nuuly Thrift and all Urban brands, including Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, BHLDN and Terrain.
Urban Outfitters is joining other apparel retailers in tapping into the red-hot secondhand apparel market. The segment, which is forecast to reach $77 billion in sales in the next five years, has been widely embraced by younger customers. It also has the potential to bring in an additional revenue stream for retailers.
Sixty percent of retailers have already offered or are open to resale, according to a report released earlier in the summer by ThredUp. That recognition of a shift in how consumers approach apparel "will make resale the most dynamic and fast-paced part of the apparel market over the next decade," said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData, which conducted the research.
"URBN has been in the vintage renewal business since our founding in 1970," Richard Hayne, CEO and chairman of Urban Outfitters, said in a statement. "With the launch of Nuuly Thrift, we're excited for URBN to capitalize on shifting customer behavior and gain market share in the rapidly expanding online resale market."
And it seems like the company's customers are primed for the new platform. Three-quarters of its shoppers have made a secondhand purchase and nearly half have sold secondhand items in the past year, according to Urban Outfitters.
The parent company views the sister Nuuly brands as a symbiotic relationship, as Nuuly Rent's end-of-life inventory will be sold through its Thrift brand. Nuuly Thrift, in turn, is expected to introduce new customers to the rental platform. Nuuly Cash "will incentivize customers from both platforms to continue to spend within the secondhand space, extending the lifespan of their clothing," according to the company.
"With URBN's millions of existing customers, our merchandising and creative expertise, our deep technical capability, and the potential for Nuuly Cash to drive incremental purchases at our family of brands, we believe the stage is set to capitalize on a very large resale market opportunity," David Hayne, chief technology officer of Urban Outfitters, Inc. and Nuuly president, said in a statement.
Other companies have recently expanded their dealings with the secondhand market. Last month, ThredUp purchased European apparel resale company Remix for over $28 million. And in June, Etsy announced that it would spend over $1.6 billion, mostly in cash, to acquire the mobile-oriented apparel resale site Depop.