Walmart became the second-biggest online retailer in the US this year, behind Amazon.
Walmart is bringing one of the biggest names in second-hand clothing sales to its site, marking the world’s largest retailer’s first entry into fashion resale.
Starting Tuesday, ThredUp will be a seller on Walmart.com, providing a selection of nearly 750,000 pre-owned women’s and children’s clothing and accessories from brands including Nike, Carter’s, Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. (ThredUp doesn’t sell men’s clothing.)
ThredUp’s catalog comes from clothing mailed in by people looking to clean out their closets and make a few dollars in the process. The company, which competes with other resale fashions sites like Poshmark and The RealReal, takes pictures and lists the items on its site. Then, like a typical consignment store, it splits the proceeds with clothing owners.
While Walmart isn’t known for higher-end fashion, it’s already been selling used luxury watches and handbags on its site through independent merchants. Selection in stores is still mostly essentials.
The partnership could be beneficial to both retailers, with Walmart gaining another well-known partner for its marketplace of independent sellers, and ThredUp gaining exposure to Walmart’s growing online store. Walmart became the second-largest e-commerce site in the US this year, beating out eBay, though it still significantly lags behind Amazon online. Amazon, meanwhile, announced a new clothing and accessories storefront with Vogue last week to support a handful of designers during the pandemic.
Bringing ThredUp clothing to Walmart’s site could bring on new customers willing to try out resale and consignment, as the weak economy should force more families to look for ways to save money.
The deal also offers another example of Walmart’s different approach to online. Amazon and eBay have open marketplaces, allowing sellers big and small to list items. Meanwhile, Walmart has a closed marketplace, meaning it vets all the independent sellers on its site, which makes its selection smaller than those competitors but potentially reduces problems like counterfeits and knockoffs. Amazon and eBay say they have robust operations to fend off such issues.
Customers buying from ThredUp on Walmart.com can get free shipping on orders over $35 and free returns at Walmart stores or at ThredUp, which are better offers than what ThredUp provides on its site. ThredUp includes a restocking fee for returns and flat-rate shipping fees of $5.99 for its sales.
Walmart didn’t disclose the financial details of its partnership deal with ThredUp.