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Hudson’s Bay Makes First Foray into Baby Resale with Rebelstork Partnership: Interview

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Iconic Canadian retailer The Bay has entered into the baby gear resale industry through a partnership with Canadian startup Rebelstork.

Rebelstork is North America’s first managed marketplace for the resale of overstock, open box and quality used baby gear, providing parents with a hassle-free way to buy and resell their baby gear.

As of September 26, consumers will be able to access Rebelstork’s marketplace directly via thebay.com.

“It’s no surprise that babies are expensive: parents can spend upwards of $10,000 – $14,000 on their baby every year and many parents are only beginning to realize the significance that buying second hand or reselling gently used gear can have on the environment and on their finances,” said Emily Hosie, Founder and CEO of Rebelstork. “Our mission is to help families declutter, save and make money, and ultimately contribute to the circular economy.

“I think environmental concerns are probably the top reason (for the circular economy). In the baby gear space particularly, the life span of product is so short and it’s extraordinarily expensive. There’s a shift in parents wanting to provide the best for their babies and then there’s a lot of assortment out there now. There’s a lot of luxury gear. I also think there’s a big awareness with parents today especially Millennials and Gen Z where not only do they want to know how the products that are made – are they sustainably sourced, are they impact driven companies that they’re buying from – but they also want to know where their product is going afterward. So when they’re done with using it they want to know that it’s not just going into a landfill.

Rebelstork x The Bay

“Shoppers of The Bay will have access to our Rebelstork platform through their website. So The Bay is basically just opening up resale baby gear as an option for their customers. It’s very customer centric. That is how parents today are shopping. They’re buying something new, some things used. They want to sell their stuff and recoup as much money as they can back after using it and so The Bay is giving Rebelstork to their HBC clients.”

Hosie said what The Bay is doing is ‘disruption’ in the baby gear space, adding that the giant retailer is really paying attention to how customers are shopping these days.

“It is impactful and the circular economy is a partner to regular price and I think it’s great to see,” she said.

The partnership kicks off The Bay’s annual Baby Week Event on September 25 with trade-in events at two Hudson’s Bay locations: Guildford in Surrey, BC, and Square One in Mississauga, Ontario. Parents can bring gently used baby and kids gear and trade it in for a gift card from The Bay.

Rebelstork
Image: Rebelstork

“Last year, we began to reimagine our kids strategy at The Bay to elevate the entire shopping experience for families. From baby showrooms to our Rookie shops, we have evolved to be more relevant, more innovative and easier than ever to shop for all stages of childhood,” said Laura Janney, Chief Merchant of The Bay. “Our partnership with Rebelstork brings a whole new option to parents looking to make more sustainable choices for short-term product purchases, as well as options for those ready to part with gently-used items that kids have grown out of. We are very pleased to partner with Rebelstork in delivering this experience to our customers.

“We know that parents are looking for more sustainable options for quality baby gear. This is a very relevant and innovative way to contribute to a circular economy, with two trusted brands delivering the experience for shoppers. Rebelstork’s marketplace of gently-used baby and kids gear was a natural fit to enter the baby resale space.

“Resale provides the ability to realize value on original investments, which is appealing when making purchases for products that are relatively short use. It is a more sustainable way to buy and sell, extending the lifespan of products. It is also an opportunity for parents to realize some cost savings on the buying side. The key for many parents when purchasing gently-used is having trust in their purchase choices.”

Janney said the retailer has really invested in its ‘family strategy’ over the past two years and has actually doubled its business in that time.

Image: Rebelstork

“We know that parents – and grandparents, aunts, uncles and others – want an expansive and quality assortment, and an easy shopping experience. The Bay has evolved to be more relevant, more innovative and a trusted destination for quality – making it easier than ever for parents to shop for all stages of childhood,” she said, adding the company sees more partnerships in this resale area in the future.

“We launched The Bay Marketplace in March 2021, and have already launched five pre-loved sellers on that platform on thebay.com, with more expected. There is a great opportunity for resale through our marketplace and we continue to explore trusted vendors to partner with.”

Rebelstork was founded in 2019 by Hosie who is a former retail executive working over the years with brands such as Winners, Marshalls and Saks Fifth Avenue.

“When I had my son I had a not so great experience selling a baby swing on a do-it-yourself marketplace and I just realized it wasn’t safe, I didn’t feel like I was getting the money I deserved for my item. So I figured there had to be a better way,” said Hosie. “So I created Rebelstork just out of my own personal experience as a way for parents to hassle-free buy and sell baby gear.

“We also do overstock and open box. So quick returns that are coming back to retailers and end-of-the-line products. There’s nothing wrong with the product. It’s just that it can be offered at a bit of a deal. We have our proprietary pricing technology that prices everything based on fair market value. It’s the first pricing technology in the baby gear space. Every product that is sold on our website is quality tested and rated by our staff and physically in our possession and then it goes through the pricing algorithm so that parents know that they’re paying and buying what the gear is actually worth.”

Image: Rebelstork

The upcoming trade-in events at The Bay’s two stores will accept products dated no earlier than 2017 and must be clean, operate well and be

free of stains and fabric tears. Strollers must have working brakes, functioning safety straps and opens and closes correctly. Additional terms, including accepted items for trade-in and their estimated value can be found here: https://rebelstork.com/pages/hbc-x-rebelstork

Items that are older than four years will be donated to charity. Trade-in value will be calculated at the events on-site using Rebelstork’s resale calculator, which takes into consideration programmed qualifiers like age, condition, and operational state.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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