. Target Uses Gift Cards to Incentivize Consumers to Clean Out Their Closets | Northstar Meetings Group

Target Uses Gift Cards to Incentivize Consumers to Clean Out Their Closets

The retailer partners with ThredUP, a company that acts as an online consignment store.


Target recently partnered with ThredUP, a San Francisco-based online consignment shop, to incentivize its customers to get rid of old clothes, handbags, and shoes, and to buy new items from Target, by giving them Target GiftCards for all accepted items.

Although the program recently ended, according to the ThredUP website, it allowed consumers to receive compensation for their items in the form of Target GiftCards.

The program asked consumers to order or pick up a Target Clean Out Kit from ThredUP and fill it with unwanted clothing, shoes, and handbags. After filling the bag, consumers could drop the bag off at their nearest Target store or FedEx location, or simply leave it on their doorstep to be shipped to ThredUp (shipping was covered by Target and ThredUP). 

After receiving the items, ThredUP determined the quality of the received pieces. Those items valued at under $60 were given upfront reimbursements in the form of Target GiftCards. Items valued at more than $60 were reimbursed on consignment. Unaccepted items were donated. 

Target's partnership with ThredUP is an innovative example of how retailers can use gift cards to incentivize customers to shop, expand their inventory, and build brand loyalty. 

ThredUP, a startup, is also doing well. In September, the company secured $81 million in Series E fduning from Goldman Sachs for a total of $125 million to date.

"We founded thredUP to make it incredibly convenient for consumers to clean out their closets and shop for quality secondhand clothes," ThredUP CEO James Reinhart said in a press statement. "We saw a huge opportunity to leverage Internet penetration and the growing acceptance of buying and selling online to bring a delightful, frictionless secondhand experience to the masses."