Announcing the move Tuesday, the retailer said pre-owned men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories from any brand will be available for purchase starting on its iOS app this fall. Launching first as an iOS app, Nuuly Thrift will allow customers to resell products from any brand, not just URBN’s portfolio of brands.
Nuuly Thrift will work hand-in-hand with sister platform Nuuly Rent, URBN’s subscription rental service for women’s apparel that charges $88 a month for six rental items. In fact, end-of-life rentals will help stock supply on Nuuly Thrift. For added eco props, Nuuly will also partner with payment tool Stripe Climate to donate 1 percent of Nuuly Thrift revenue to carbon removal initiatives.
Both platforms support Nuuly’s brand mission to be, according to the company, a “curated destination” for fashion that is neither detrimental to wallet spend nor the planet.
Any brand can be resold on Nuuly Thrift and is merchandised on the platform (similar to managed marketplaces) with the help of the Nuuly creative team. Keen to funnel customers toward full-price purchases at URBN brands — which includes Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, Bhldn and Terrain — Nuuly Thrift will allow customers to cash out with Nuuly Cash (worth 10 percent more at Nuuly Thrift and URBN brands) or put earnings directly into their bank account.
“URBN has been in the vintage renewal business since our founding in 1970,” said Richard A. Hayne, chief executive officer and chairman of Urban Outfitters Inc. “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.”
According to the company, three-quarters of URBN shoppers have made secondhand purchases in the past year, with nearly half having resold items. And URBN brands consistently perform strongly on secondhand marketplaces. Products from Anthropologie and Free People trended in Poshmark’s winter 2021 trend report, while Urban Outfitters made the list of most resold Depop brands, according to a June report from U.K.-based utilities firm SaveOnEnergy.
Touting Nuuly’s technology and the fact that the platform, logistics and software were built from the ground up in the company’s Philadelphia headquarters, URBN chief technology officer and Nuuly president David Hayne said “seamless technology is a critical enabler for success.”
“Coupling our fashion expertise with a growing competency in data science will allow us to create a scalable open marketplace that feels curated,” Hayne said. “Nuuly Rent has seen an exciting rebound since COVID-19, surpassing our pre-pandemic high with subscribers above 30,000 and growing daily.”
The subscriber count is shy of the company’s initial goal of 50,000, with rental broadly seeing a dropoff as the pandemic lockdowns ensued.