Retail is not dead, but it is suffering from an identity crisis. Brick and mortar stores and online retailers are looking for ways to balance consumer demands for both easy mobile buying options and value-added tactile shopping experiences. The RealReal, a premier online luxury consignor, is now taking it to the streets and showing everyone it can be done.
In 2011, Julie Wainright, entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer, honed in on a clear message from retail consumers. Once bargain-obsessed shoppers were fed up with cheap goods and fake merchandise and were embracing the idea that purchasing high quality items with more intrinsic worth could be more cost effective. Wainright saw her niche and knew she could open the luxury goods market to consumers hungry for value. The RealReal was born.
By eliminating sticker shock, The RealReal lures in customers by offering gently preowned designer fashions, jewelry, and home goods at prices much lower than full retail. Brand-familiar buyers can purchase a high-end handbag or diamond tennis bracelet on its website with complete confidence, knowing that each item is expertly authenticated. The same customers can then tap the resale value of the unused luxury items in their closet by consigning with The RealReal.
Looking to build on the success of the company’s on-line only platform, CEO Wainright wanted to entice the more hesitant buyer to the brand and knew only a complete luxury experience would be enough. The RealReal trialed its first pop-up shop in New York in 2016 and reportedly cashed in on over two million dollars in sales. It was a hit!
The RealReal cut the ribbon on its new, well-appointed SoHo store in November of 2017 and will take advantage of the burgeoning pop-up store concept to generate brand awareness in new markets across the US. Allison Sommer, the company’s marketing director believes 2018 will bring The RealReal a chance to impress consumers with the value it offers.
With seven million international members, The RealReal is proving to be the real deal.