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J. Crew brand launches resale program, to offer vintage styles

Published 01/17/2023, 01:11 PM
Updated 01/17/2023, 05:23 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A J.Crew store is seen in Manhattan, New York March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) -J. Crew Group said on Tuesday it had launched a new resale program for its eponymous brand, which will offer used styles online and vintage apparel in select J. Crew stores.

Under the company's new "J. Crew Always" banner, pre-owned styles will be listed through its website and through ThredUp, an online consignment platform which partners with the clothing retailer on resale services.

Liz Hershfield, senior vice president & head of sustainability for J. Crew Group, announced the program at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York.

Customers can also send gently worn J. Crew items to ThredUp in exchange for shopping credit.

As part of the program, some of the brand's vintage styles from the 1980s and '90s will also be available exclusively in the company's Bowery and Fifth Avenue stores in New York, Hershfield said.

J. Crew Group has been growing its resale business over the last two years. The company partnered with ThredUp in 2021 to sell pre-owned clothing from its brand, Madewell, which allowed customers to trade in old products for store credit.

"Resale is still quite small for us, but ultimately the goal is to grow a circular business where you can extend the life of a product and it's profitable and it does really well," Hershfield said at the event.

Brian Ehrig, a partner at global consulting firm Kearney, said there was no universal consensus among analysts over how large the resale market could grow.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A J.Crew store is seen in Manhattan, New York March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

But brokerage Morningstar has estimated it could expand to $300 billion by 2031, according to Ehrig, who spoke on the same panel as Hershfield.

J. Crew Group is part of a growing list of retailers, including IKEA and Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) Inc, to add resale programs over the last several years.

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