Urban Outfitters is getting into the $30 billion secondhand apparel business with a new online thrift store

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Urban Outfitters is getting into the $30 billion secondhand apparel business with a new online thrift store
Dan Dennison/Getty Images
  • Nuuly Thrift, Urban Outfitter's apparel and accessories online thrift store, launches this fall.
  • Users can resell and buy products from any brand on the site.
  • The move to the resale market comes amid consumer concerns over sustainability.

Urban Outfitters is launching online resale store Nuuly Thrift this fall, as the company joins the growing secondhand sale trend fueled by younger consumers' concerns over sustainability and repeating outfits.

"URBN has been in the vintage renewal business since our founding in 1970," Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne said in a company press release. "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."

Gen Z shoppers have bolstered the growth of other thrift store platforms like Depop and Poshmark, where young shoppers are able to avoid recycling outfits as well as the negative environmental impact of fast fashion. Selling clothes on these platforms can also be lucrative, with some young entrepreneurs growing their side hustles selling clothes on thrifting platforms into full-time businesses.

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Urban Outfitters' existing customers already have a penchant for thrifting and may be primed to use the new platform, since three-quarters of URBN customers have bought or sold secondhand items in the last year, according to the company's press release.

The roughly $30 billion secondhand apparel market is expected to reach $77 billion in sales in the next five years, according to Retail Dive. Teens' growing interest in thrifting could also threaten traditional apparel retailers as the popularity of buying and selling secondhand grows, Insider's Madeline Stone reported.

Users can resell products from any brand, not just URBN brands, and once someone buys an item, the the seller can either get money transferred directly to their bank account or redeem the earnings for Nuuly Cash, which is worth 10% more on the thrifting platform and with any URBN brand.

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Nuuly Thrift is a sister platform to Nuuly Rent, URBN's subscription clothing rental service, where users can choose six items to rent for $88 a month. The company anticipates that Nuuly Rent, Nuuly Thrift, and Nuuly Cash will all bolster each other.

"Our goal at Nuuly is to build a creative marketplace community - built around a best-in-class technology platform - where customers can be fashion-conscious, eco-conscious and financially-conscious, all in one place," David Hayne, Nuuly president, said.

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