Another online retailer tries on brick-and-mortar

(Author : Marianne Wilson)
An online thrift store that counts some 20 million users has opened its first-ever physical storefront.

ThredUp has opened an outpost at Tanger Outlets, in San Marcos, Texas. The company plans to add four additional locations by year end. It is targeting traditional malls, outlet centers, and main street shopping districts nationwide.  “With 85% of apparel still bought offline, stores help us reach those who need to ‘see it to believe it,‘” said James Reinhart, CEO and co-founder, ThredUp. “We’ve found that once customers experience ThredUp’s expectation-shattering quality standards, value and brands, they just keep coming back.”

ThredUp enjoys a strong following among millennials, attracted by its deep discount prices, fashion brands and the excellent condition of its merchandise. “We’re changing the way people think about thrift,” said Reinhart. “In fact, 50% of our customers had never shopped ‘used’ before trying ThredUp online.”
ThredUp doesn’t look or feel like a typical thrift outlet.  It has a clean, modern look, with a minimalist aesthetic.  The store is powered by proprietary technology and a massive amount of online customer data. The inventory is informed by its most active customers, with the selection reflecting the items that are trending in each store’s specific locale.
“Because tens of thousands of items sell on daily, we can determine what brands are trending in certain areas and cities—and stock our stores accordingly,” the company said. The retailer, which has four distribution centers throughout the country, plans to refresh product in the stores on a daily basis.

Founded in 2009, ThredUp boasts items across more than 35,000 brands at prices that it says are up to 90% off the original retail value. Its online inventory is massive, growing by about 1,000 items every hour, according to, which also reports the company has a $500 million valuation.

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