Online thrift store thredUp opens first brick-and-mortar retail store

San Francisco-based startup thredUp just opened its first brick-and-mortar store in San Marcos, Texas after being an e-commerce portal for second-hand goods since 2009.

Online thrift store thredUp opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Texas. threadUp - threadUp

The concept behind the new store is to give consumers a modern-day version of an old-fashioned “thrill of the hunt” thrifting experience, making it easier for shoppers to find exactly what they are looking for. Since thredUp already sells thousands of items online on a daily basis, it can pinpoint what’s trending by city and can strategically stock shelves—which will become particularly helpful as the company expands to four additional cities in the U.S. by the end of this year.
 
Other features include “New Treasure Notifications” which rely on thredUp’s “psychic salespeople” to pre-stock a customer’s dressing room and establish a relationship based on pre-store browsing. Even after a customer is at home, they will be notified of relevant new arrivals and will be sent a surprise box of goods to try on at home. As if that wasn’t enough to keep shoppers coming back for more, thredUP plans to tap into its perpetual stream of inventory in an effort to create a new store experience every time the customer returns.
 
There’s no denying that opening a brick-and-mortar store during a time when retailers are closing their doors due to competition from online retailers like Amazon is risky—but not according to Heather Craig, thredUp's Head of Retail Experience. "We believe that now is the perfect time to open thredUp brick-and-mortar stores—our mission is to change the way people think about secondhand, and stores are the next logical step,” Craig told FashionNetwork.com. “Research shows that 85 percent of consumers still want to shop in physical stores, and thredUP's smart stores are the perfect combination of what's lacking in retail today: outstanding customer service, freshness and fun and unbelievable value."
 
Speaking of value, thredUp’s physical stores will no doubt give competitors like TJ Maxx a run for their money as it is offering luxury goods from brands like Michael Kors, Club Monaco, Coach and Kate Spade for an average of 50 percent less (up to 90 percent off of the actual retail value) in many cases. It’s no secret then that this business model has helped with the company’s $500 million valuation.

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