thredUP Fashion Warehouse opens in Vernon Hills

Shoppers can get up to 90 percent off name brand fashion clothing and apparel, kids and maternity wear

Think secondhand first. Designer pieces including Gucci, Coach, Nicole Miller and more!

by Long Hwa-shu

ThredUP.com, an online marketer that aims to reinvent the second-hand clothing industry, is hiring people at its newly-opened distribution center in Vernon Hills.

“We need to double the 150 employees we have at the facility,” said John Voris, chief operating officer of the San Francisco-based company which buys and sells like-new clothing for women and children for up to 90 percent off the original retail price. Since its founding in 2009, the company has become a leader in the fast-growing industry.

At thredUP, consigners are sent a bag like this to put gently used clothing in that they wish to sell. - thredUP photo
At thredUP, consigners are sent a bag like this to put gently used clothing in that they wish to sell. – thredUP photos

Sorry, the company does not handle men’s clothing.

“We have openings for sorting, inspection, photographing, identification, pricing and shipping,” he added. The 145,000-square-foot facility in Vernon Hills is at 100 Lakeview Parkway.

The jobs start at $11 an hour and can go up to $15 plus stock options. The company, co-founded by James Reinhart, a Harvard graduate who was a teacher and school administrator, plans to go public eventually, according to Voris who joined the company in 2011. Employees will get the stock options with prices to be locked, he said. The other co-founders are Chris Homer and Oliver Lubin.

In welcoming thredUp to the village, Vernon Hills Mayor Roger Byrne said, “Sustainability is at the center of the brand’s ethos and we welcome the meaningful jobs thredUP is creating for our devoted and diverse community throughout Lake County.

You can learn more about job openings at www.thredup.com/p/careers.

“We buy slightly used, like new clothing for women and kids with no stains and holes, and sell them online at prices at least 70 percent less than when they are new,” said Voris. The company currently buys from an estimated 25,000 consumers who are selling clothing they no longer wear.

Significantly, Voris pointed out that thredUP enables women to buy brand name fashions that they thought they could never afford.

John Voris, thredUP COO

The Vernon Hills distribution center is the company’s third. A fourth one will open in Duluth, Ga. The first two are in San Leandro, Calif., and Mechanicsburg, Pa.

“We chose Vernon Hills because we needed a location in the middle of the country for logistics and also because of the high quality of labor force in the area,” Voris said, pointing out that the company had looked at possible sites in Chicago and Wisconsin.

While declining to disclose its sales, he said the company processes about one million items each month. The Vernon Hills facility which opened in March is expected to handle hundreds and thousands of items every 30 days.

Anyone who wishes to sell women’s and children’s clothing can request for a “Clean Out” bag online. For details check the company website at wwwthredUP.com. The 24 by 28 inch plastic bags are pre-addressed with shipping prepaid. The bags will be picked up by your mail carrier and shipped by FedEx SmartPost.

You can stuff 30 items or as many as the bag holds. ThredUP will sort the contents out and pay the sender the items that are accepted. Those rejected can be returned to the sender. However, there is a charge of $12.99 for return shipping.

When the company first started, it accepted men’s clothing. Sales, however, weren’t as good as expected. “Men wear their clothes out. They don’t buy as often,” explained Voris.

“We switched to kids in 2011 and then womens in 2013. Sales took off and have kept growing,” he said.

Designer brands are in demand. Some of the items recently offered for sale included a Stella McCartney dress, MICHAEL Michael Kors top, a Coach handbag, Kate Spade New York shoes, and Vivienne Westwood Jeans.

For information and to shop visit https://www.thredup.com/ .

thredUP VH exterior building
The new thredUP warehouse is at 100 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills.

 

At thredUP, consigners are sent a bag like this to put gently used clothing in that they wish to sell. - thredUP photo
Inside the new Vernon Hills warehouse where thredUP employees organize clothing to be sold online.

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