Why head of resale site ThredUp says thrifting is popular and Facebook needs to evolve
After the financial crisis of 2008, many consumers, cutting back on spending, turned to off-price retailers—allowing discounters like T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack to thrive. Now, with another recession upon us, consumers are taking their dollars to resale platforms, according to Anthony Marino, president of online consignment and thrift site ThredUp.
“It’s a very similar type of situation for us,” he says on this week’s episode of the Marketer’s Brief Podcast. “Customers who may not have thought of buying secondhand before, they’re home, they’re looking for options to save money and they find resale.”
ThredUp has seen traffic to its site rise during recent months as homebound customers shopped. They were looking for value but also eager to make eco-friendly choices that would benefit the environment, Marino says.
“We thought that people’s interests in making sustainable choices in things that are good for the planet might take a backseat in the time that is as tough as the time we’re living in right now,” he says. “That’s just not the case.”
Marino also weighs in on the current brand boycott against Facebook over how the platform handles hate speech and misinformation. ThredUp has advertised on Facebook for a long time and will continue to do so, Marino says, though he notes that “everyone agrees that these platforms need to evolve—there’s just no doubt.”
ThredUp is “taking a pretty hard look” at Facebook and others in terms of a solution to the criticisms. The company is also looking into what it can do within its own business to be an “agent for change” in furthering social equality, Marino says.
“It isn't just about boycotts, it's about controlling the things you can within your own business,” he says. “It’s not just about a 30-day boycott, you have to keep the energy and commitment up to these changes over time.”
Hear more about retail trends at Ad Age Next: Retail, a virtual conference taking place on July 8. Register here.