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J.C. Penney announces partnership with secondhand retailer ThredUp

As part of its effort to boost sales and foot traffic, J.C. Penney will add ThredUp shops to some of its stores

Photo (c) ablokhin - Getty Images
J.C. Penney, which has been forced to close many of its stores due to disappointing sales in recent years, reported smaller losses in the second quarter, as well as a new partnership with secondhand retailer ThredUp.

The retailer reported a loss of $48 million in the second quarter compared to a loss of $101 million a year earlier, according to Refinitiv. However, revenue was lower than analysts’ expectations of $2.69 billion -- $2.62 billion compared to $2.8 billion a year earlier. 

J.C. Penney and other struggling retailers have been changing their business plans in an attempt to increase foot traffic, which has declined under a sharp increase in online shopping. 

Earlier this year, J.C. Penney announced it would be ceasing sales of appliances and furniture and closing 24 stores as part of its course-correction plan. The decision to free up space in stores by removing appliances and furniture was intended to help it "better meet customer expectations, improve financial performance and drive profitable growth."

Now, the retailer will be carving out space for ThredUp shops at 30 of its stores, which may draw in younger consumers with an interest in sustainable fashion. 

A new in-store experience

“With the rise of online resale markets, there’s no doubt that demand for great value on quality brands is at an all-time high,” said J.C. Penney EVP and chief merchant Michelle Wlazlo during a second quarter conference call. “We’re excited about the prospect of creating a new in-store experience that makes high-end brands attainable, as well as catering to eco-minded consumers who want more sustainable options in their wardrobe.”

J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau said she feels “more confident than ever” that the changes the company is undergoing will “reinvigorate and rejuvenate this great company to sustainable, profitable growth."

“We are not simply running a business; we are rebuilding a business,” Soltau said. “The journey we are on will restore health back to our company.”

Macy’s also announced this week that it’s teaming up with ThredUp to offer secondhand women’s clothing and handbags at some of its stores.

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