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thredUP had its best quarter ever to close out 2021.
The resale platform's quarterly earnings call revealed this on a few levels this week:
- The company posted $72.9 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, leading to 68% year-over-year growth, which was its best ever.
- The number of active buyers and orders on the platform were also a record. Each came in at 1.7 million during the quarter, according to earnings reported by the company this week.
- For the full year it grew 35% with revenue of $251.8 million. Total annual orders were also a record, with 5.3 miliion.
thredUP's platform facilitates sales of second-hand apparel, shoes and accessories. It also forges resale partnerships with brands, most recently working with adidas, Crocs, and Michael Stars on its "resale-as-a-service" initiative. Based in Oakland, the company sought to expand internationally in 2021 through the acquisition of European fashion resale platform Remix. That company opened a new facility in Europe.
“We ended our first year as a public company with another quarter of strong financial performance,” said James Reinhart, CEO of thredUP, in a statement. “In 2022, we expect our continued investment in our infrastructure both domestically and internationally will enable us to keep building the foundation for the future of resale on the internet.”
The momentum for thredUP comes at a time of growth in digitally-powered resale. The growth of ecommerce has led to more comfort with shopping online, making shoppers more willing to engage in thrift and consignment purchases over the internet. At the same time, rising consumer awareness about the environmental challenges that result from the influx of consumer goods has led to increased interest in extending a product's life. Propelling this market, thredUP is building a new kind of supply chain in the resale space.
“The not-so-secret but, I think, often misunderstood economic engine that underlies our model is that most of our clothing is listed on consignment,” Reinhart told analysts following the earnings report. “This means we have little inventory risk. Our strategy has been developed with a deeply calculated approach about what it takes to build and sustain competitive advantage over time. We believe that every day, our supply advantage increases, our infrastructure moat widens, and the network effects of our marketplace grow.”
Trending in Retail Channels
The virtual store was built by Emperia.
As it opens a new boutique, Italian women’s fashion brand Pinko is opening a virtual store that is designed to create a personalized experience for customers to browse handbags digitally.
Pinko's virtual shopping experience powered by the platform Emperia, which allows users to access metaverse environments through commonly-used devices such as laptops and mobile phones. The launch of the store, which is dubbed Pinko Galleria, is timed with the opening of the brand’s boutique in the exclusive Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
The store has exclusive offerings that allow the brand to cross the physical and digital worlds:
- New handbags that are specifically designed for the experience, and displayed through 3D modeling that offers education and
- NFTs from Pinko called Meta Love Bags.
- Communities for women that are designed for empowerment and independence.
The opening comes on the heels of last week’s closing of a $10 million Series A investment round for Emperia, which has also worked with Bloomingdale’s and Dior. Founded in 2019 by fashion and retail expert Olga Dogadkina and VR technologist Simonas Holcmann, Emperia’s platform provides the technology and visual infrastructure that architect the virtual stores, as well as data and analytics that provides key insights to retailers about how shoppers interact with the store and what is needed to personalize experiences.
The virtual store is designed to complement the physical store. It presents new opportunities for brand-building that is untethered from physical parameters. It also makes the exclusive more accessible. Shoppers anywhere in the world can now enter the store, even as the physical location is only in Milan.
“The new experience allows audiences, worldwide, to experience the unique, bold design that Pinko is so well-known for, wherever they choose to,” says Olga Dogadkina, Co-founder & CEO at Emperia, in a statement. “Our 3D technology ensures a high merchandise-viewing quality, which complements its real-life twin product, to the smallest detail, allowing Pinko to present and directly-sell its exclusive capsule collection in a way that simulates a realistic shopping experience.”
Inside the virtual store, shoppers have the opportunity to browse and navigate through a space that is laid out and merchandised in 3D with all the hallmarks of a Pinko physical store, right down to a full layout of the brand's signature pink. They’re also greeted by music. A sign that the store is not in the physical world arrives upon turning toward the front. Look out the window, and a shopper will find that they are high above the clouds.
That’s a new way to elevate the experience.
Here are more photos of the Pinko virtual store:
Handbags in Pinko's virtual store. (Courtesy photo)
Hands holding handbags. (Courtesy photo)
NFTs in Pinko's virtual store. (courtesy photo)
Looking out the window at Pinko's virtual store.