Updated: Jun 21
By: Basil Bseiso
Online shopping has revolutionized the retail industry, and even tech-resistant generations have shifted away from traditional shopping. The coronavirus pandemic has made the transition online even more crucial for retailers to survive and avoid the obstacles that the virus presents. Due to brick and mortar store shutdowns and more conservative consumer spending, major names, such as J. Crew, JCPenney, and Neiman Marcus have filed for bankruptcy. While the virus has exacerbated challenges for many retailers, others have taken advantage of unoccupied positions in the industry. Walmart is looking to increase its market share in apparel through expanding its online fashion options. The retailer has entered the fashion resale market and has partnered with ThredUP, an e-commerce company that offers secondhand clothes and accessories. Customers can now explore thousands of preowned items on Walmart’s website and they can enjoy free shipping when they spend $35 or more. If customers are not satisfied with their purchase, they can return their items at any nearby store.
For years, Walmart has looked to enter the fashion industry. The retailer already sells a large assortment of merchandise from top brands including Levis and Champion, and has acquired companies such as Eloquii and Bonobos. Although Walmart is a dominant player in the grocery business, it still falls behind in fashion. At a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs or have taken pay cuts, budget-conscious items have become even more relevant. Not only will this deal help customers enhance their closets with reasonably priced clothing, but it will also help make Walmart a more sustainable player. ThredUP CEO and co-founder James Reinhart says that sales have remained strong on their website during the pandemic, and he believes that through partnering with ThredUP, Walmart can “delight their customer in a new way” while acknowledging their interest in sustainability. (Link)
Although the future of retail remains uncertain, Walmart’s partnership with ThredUP will make it a vital player in the fashion industry. The pandemic’s lasting impacts will lead consumers to make more conscious decisions when purchasing products, and the secondhand market will become more relevant than ever. Through its expansion of quality, trendy, and accessible fashion, Walmart can now help all customers revamp their wardrobes no matter their style or budget.