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More Burnaby stores jump on the resales e-commerce train

Buying used items no longer has stigma attached

First it was H&M launching an e-commerce platform looking at helping people resell clothing.

Then it was Walmart and Urban Outfitters.

Now Hudson's Bay Co., which operates stores at Lougheed Town Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown, is wading into the booming resale marketplace through a partnership with Canadian startup Rebelstork Corp. as shoppers increasingly turn to second-hand e-commerce platforms in search of cheaper and greener goods. 

The deal will give Rebelstork, a managed marketplace for the resale of overstock, open box and used baby gear, a link on the department store’s website — the sixth largest e-commerce presence in Canada. 

The online promotion of the startup is also being paired with two in-person pilot events. The Bay is inviting customers to trade in their used baby gear at its department stores in Surrey, B.C., and Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday in exchange for store gift cards. The items will then be resold on Rebelstork’s website.

The partnership highlights the legacy retailer's efforts to join the circular economy and get a piece of the growing resale market.

Urban Outfitters recently launched Nuuly Thrift, a used fashion platform, while Levi Strauss & Co. started an online marketplace to sell second-hand jeans. 

Retail experts say the thriving resale market is driven by a search for value, environmental concerns and a generational shift.

"There used to be a stigma with buying used goods, like you lost your job or had no money,” retail analyst Bruce Winder said. 

“There was always a market for used vehicles, but younger consumers have turned to second-hand shopping for everything from clothing to household items," he said. "It's turned into a save-the-planet environmental play and of course a way to save money."

The partnership with Rebelstork allows the Bay to tiptoe into the resale marketplace and tap into a younger consumer, Winder said. 

“They're trying to target Millennial moms,” he said. “The Bay struggles with attracting younger customers. Millennials and Gen Z generally don’t have a huge affinity with department stores.”

  • With files from the Canadian Press