Founded in 2011 by Julie Wainwright, the RealReal is a consignment company that has both a brick and mortar and online presence. The store has three retail locations located in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as pop-ups in San Francisco and Las Vegas. The company has had a partnership with Stella McCartney, causing the store’s presence to be even more widely noted.
Although the consignment shop was originally seen as a small business endeavor that would have little influence on the fashion industry, it has now evolved into a prestigious company that can be trusted for partnerships. As a consignment company, the store has the advantage of the current fashion market, which is predicted to reach $41 billion within the next two years. This statistic, in addition to the fact that stores such as the RealReal are in the fastest growing sector, gives the business an excellent advantage.
The store has steadily grown in numbers as well as size since its founding and is seemingly continuing to do so. Although Julie Wainwright started the company online, it is steadily expanding to more and more brick and mortar locations. Currently, The RealReal has three stores in two locations: New York and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles location is unique because it devotes a segment to men’s fashion, an area that the store might soon be expanding.
According to Wainwright, the brick and mortar locations that her store offers bring in a much larger clientele than her online stores. While the online stores offer convenience, Wainwright finds that there is no comparison between the two regarding sales. Furthermore, Wainwright explains that many of her customers are older and more affluent. These customers choose to keep quiet about shopping second hand. While shopping secondhand is an often overlooked art, some of the most successful people enjoy the hunt for something new among the old.
While some older, more affluent customers have a tendency to keep quiet about their shopping habits, millennials feel a completely different way. They prefer to shop in consignment places because there is a better chance of finding something unique that no one else is wearing everyday. This element causes such places to see a potential rise in business to an even greater extent throughout the next few years.
Some of the best customers of the shop are those who are passionate about fashion, whatever form it may come in. True fashion connoisseurs understand that fashion isn’t about what everyone else is doing, but rather about individuality. The store caters to this individuality and therefore caters to each of its customers.
The shop has some business tactics down that others might need to learn. For instance, the resale market is absolutely vital. Whenever customer of the shop are surveyed, they say that they always look at the website before buying something new. Because of this, the business makes sure to stay up to date on which fashion brands are the most popular for resale. Currently, logo-embellished Gucci is on the rise for women and Yeezys and Hawaiian shirts are all the rage for men’s resale value.
Within the past year and a half, the business of the store has rapidly increased and will seemingly continue to do so. Not only have the number of visitors increased, but the customers of the store are incredibly involved rather than being one-time visitors. Because of the amount of time that the store has been in business as well as the shifts that have been seen in customer behavior, they can appropriately cater to their millennial customer base and base their products off of the smart way in which these customers shop.