Trove CEO Andy Ruben says brands have no choice but to get into resale. “Not being in this space is a very risky decision, given the growth and importance of it.”
The packages come every day by the hundreds, hauled in on pallets and torn open by a small army of workers. The contents are always a surprise. An Arc’teryx winter coat that no longer fits. Patagonia boots used to hike the Pacific Crest Trail last summer.
The 80,000-square-foot warehouse outside San Francisco is the central nervous system for Trove, the big-brand reseller setting up shop at the crossroads of retail’s tumultuous present and potentially transformative future.
“It’s soup to nuts,” says Ruben, whose operation helps companies capitalize on used goods that their customers would ordinarily pawn at vintage shops or dump into landfills. “It’s resale in a box.”
Secondhand products represent a $28 billion business that’s expected to more than double to $64 billion by 2024. It’s also where the next generation of shoppers are: Most Gen Z consumers see no stigma in buying secondhand, and 40% have bought used clothing, shoes or accessories, double that of Gen X and Boomers.