- The RealReal on Tuesday opened its first West Coast concept store, a 12,000-square-foot location that includes a 1,500-square-foot vault of wall-to-wall luxury handbags and curbside consignment drop-off. The location also features a 5,500-square-foot men’s store that has a sneakerdome, watch bar and a suiting and tailoring area, and a cafe, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
- As at the company’s permanent flagship in New York City’s Soho fashion district and its recent Las Vegas pop-up, customers can meet with on-staff gemologists, horologists, art curators and authentication specialists. The store will also offer workshops and classes, repairs, alterations and authentication of luxury goods, and personal styling services.
- Last week the online resale startup announced the closing of $115M in Series G financing, which CEO and Founder Julie Wainwright said will help expand its brick-and-mortar operations into new markets and its e-commerce fulfillment operations.
The RealReal is particularly well positioned in an apparel and accessories resale space that has been reinvigorated by e-commerce.
The market has been fueled by opportunities to buy and sell online. So-called "re-commerce" upstarts are growing 20 times faster than the broader retail market and five times faster than off-price retailers, which offer a similar treasure hunt, according to Coresight Research. Clothing, shoes and accessories currently make up 49% of total U.S. resale sales, Coresight said.
The total U.S. apparel resale market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13% from $18 billion in 2016 to $33 billion in 2021, according to Coresight. Secondhand apparel site ThredUp calculates that the resale retail market is on pace to reach $41 billion by 2022, with 49% in apparel, according to its own report released earlier this year.
The RealReal is sticking to the luxury end, and, perhaps surprisingly, has gained the cooperation of the labels it sells. Rather than looking askance at shoppers' ability to find secondhand items there, Kering — the parent company of upscale brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and others — told analysts that it is actively working with The RealReal on merchandising.
That could be because, unlike many third-party sellers on marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, The RealReal is adamant about selling only authentic merchandise, with more than 90 in-house authenticators inspecting thousands of items each day to ensure the authenticity of every item it sells. The Los Angeles concept store also uses RealReal 360, a proprietary technology solution that provides a unified view of all inventory and customer behavior across channels – brick-and-mortar, desktop, mobile, e-commerce centers and luxury consignment offices.