ThredUp, an online retailer of women’s and kids’ clothing, will locate its eastern U.S. distribution facility in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County, a move that will create 300 jobs.
The center is up and running with about 20 people already hired, said John Voris, chief operating officer for ThredUp. The company, which buys and sells second-hand clothing, received its first deliveries Tuesday, he added.
The online ThredUp model is different than the peer-to-peer model put forth by ThreadFlip and Poshmark, and others. Rather than simply connecting buyers and sellers, ThredUp buys the clothing outright from its sellers and then resells it to its buyers.
Based in San Francisco, the company has enjoyed explosive growth since refining its business model to focus on children’s and women’s clothes in 2012.
The company plans on making an investment of more than $1.1 million at the 5050 Louise Drive location, said Lyndsay Kensinger, deputy press secretary for the state Department of Labor and Industry. The location was perfect because it has broadband access and is located to serve the entire East Coast, said Voris, a former executive with Netflix. The Upper Allen location beat out an Allentown facility, he said.
“We’re going to build out a network of distribution centers and this is the second of many,” Voris said. “We want to get closer and closer to our customers so we can cut that transit time down.”
Most new ThredUp employees will be sorting and photographing clothes that come in, he added, and will be paid an average of $11.79 an hour. Managers can earn between $60,000 and $100,000. All permanent employees are offered 3,000 shares of ThredUp stock that vests after four years.
The company received a funding package from the Department of Community and Economic Development, including $900,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits.
“The company must report jobs created annually and are awarded Job Creation Tax Credits after the full-time jobs are created,” Kensinger said via email. “The company has up to three years to create the full commitment of jobs.”
The ThredUp model works this way: a customer requests a “clean out bag” from the company, which is delivered for free. The customer fills the bag with all the clothes they want to get rid of and mails it back to the company. ThredUp buys everything that is in good enough condition, returning or donating the rest, at the customer’s option. The customer receives credit to buy other clothes, or can cash out through PayPal.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in collaboration with the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp.
For more information on thredUP, including jobs available in Cumberland County, visit www.thredUP.com.
Editor’s Note: This item was modified from its previous version to update the hourly wage being offered to most new employees of ThredUp.