A used outdoor gear retailer is graduating from its backer’s RiNo office.
Out&Back, which has been operating from Denver-based VF Corp.’s office at 3060 Brighton Blvd., will move later this year to 4,000 square feet in the York Street Yards project at 3869 Steele St.
The startup, founded in 2019, buys and sells a variety of used apparel and gear, from snow boards to ski pants, backpacks to tents.
Founder Barruch Ben-Zekry previously led “re-commerce” at VF, the parent company of brands such as The North Face and Timberland. But, after nearly seven years, he left the company looking to change the way the broader resale market operated.
“There was a certain way that branded re-commerce was being done in VF and it just wasn’t the fully optimized version,” said Ben-Zekry, 37. “They had a mechanism for acquiring supply that focused on that seller buying something new from that brand.”
Ben-Zekry said VF Corp. is an investor in Out&Back, although he declined to disclose how much the company contributed. VF Corp. didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Ben-Zekry said one of the biggest things Out&Back is doing compared to apparel and gear brands themselves is offering sellers cash, instead of just store credit. That gives people more incentive to unload unwanted items, he said.
Those looking to sell items to Out&Back go to the company’s website and fill out a questionnaire about the item, such as brand, size and condition, and are given an offer. Sellers can choose cash or, for a 30 percent bonus, gift cards to either Dick’s Sporting Goods or its outdoor recreation-focused sibling Public Lands, which has stores in the eastern U.S.
Sellers can either mail items in or drop them off at select Dick’s or Public Lands stores.
“For both selling and buying, our objective is to make it easier,” Ben-Zekry said. “By and large, what’s nice about it, especially on the selling side, the whole process goes really quickly.”
As of Monday afternoon, Out&Back’s website had 110 items categorized as men’s jackets, ranging from a $23 Columbia jacket in good condition to a $409 Arc’teryx jacket in excellent condition.
Out&Back’s sellers are mostly from Colorado, but Ben-Zekry said the majority of buyers are from out of state.
The company has under 25 employees, but Ben-Zekry said it’s seeing 50 to 60 percent monthly growth in both sellers and buyers and expects that to continue.
“The space we’re moving into is critical to do that,” he said.
The Steele Street location will serve as Out&Back’s office and be used to store items, and local customers will be able to drop off items. Ben-Zekry said the company is entertaining opening it for local pickups as well. He expects to be moved in by the summer.
York Street Yards is an industrial and retail complex purchased by a Portland-based real estate investment firm for $76.6 million in 2020. Out&Back will move in next to e-bike retailer Rad Power Bike. Other tenants in the complex include electric car company Rivian and Cohesion Brewing Co.