Walmart strikes deal with secondhand apparel site

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Walmart is getting into the fashion resale market with ThredUp, an e-commerce company that buys and sells secondhand clothes, shoes and accessories.

Starting Wednesday, customers can browse thousands of pre-owned items for women and children on the big-box retailer’s website. They can get free shipping from Walmart so long as they spend $35 or more. And if purchases don’t work out, they can return the items at a nearby store.

Walmart is expanding its online fashion assortment at a time when it could grab more market share in apparel and accessories. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated challenges for clothing retailers. Stores have been shuttered for months, and some are now reopening with only curbside pickup or limited foot traffic. Major names, including J.Crew, Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney, have filed for bankruptcy protection. Others like Nordstrom have said they’ll permanently close some of their stores.

Walmart dominates the grocery business, but still lags in fashion despite its efforts. It has acquired plus-sized women’s apparel company Eloquii and menswear company Bonobos, developed exclusive apparel lines with Ellen DeGeneres and Sofía Vergara and revived Scoop, a trendy brand that used to have stores in New York City.

Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart’s e-commerce business in the U.S., said the retailer has been talking to ThredUp for about a year. With the pandemic though, she said buying fashionable, yet budget-conscious items may have even more relevance.

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