All shoppers want to save money. Even people interested in high-end luxury items such as Gucci look for deals. These would-be buyers create opportunities for anyone with scores of old clothes stuffed in the closet. The seller might feel interested in moving the merchandise online for the right price. Julie Wainwright, the CEO of The RealReal, points out billions of dollars in used luxury clothes may one day enter the market. She surely hopes a significant amount of that merchandise goes up for sale through The RealReal.
When you look at the revenue figures for her company, it becomes difficult to argue with Wainwright. The company’s debut year saw revenues reach $10 million. Since the first day of business, the enterprise moved $500 million in sales.
The massive growth did not happen overnight. The retailer opened its virtual doors nearly 10 years ago. Wainwright, the former CEO of Pets.com, helped steer the innovative new company. The RealReal serves as an online consignment shop. Those not familiar with how The enterprise operates may wonder what sets this company apart from so many other online sellers of used merchandise. Several differences exist. Again, the company only deals in luxury merchandise exclusively, which makes it a perfect venue for a niche of buyers and sellers. Also, while other retailers might mimic this company’s luxury sales strategy, how many can match its authentication process? The process establishes the legitimacy of name brands sold on the platform. Fears about knock-offs and fraud products do worry consumers seeking luxury items online. The authentication process puts their minds to ease.
Wainwright’s company wants to stake out a dominant presence in this growing market. The company launched an IPO and rode media publicity on the debut. Expect the company to continue to make news as more consumers become aware of its existence.
Buyers may even discover the company in person. Initially, the retailer operated exclusively online. Expansion plans led to two brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors. Not surprisingly, the two cities chosen for the location are New York and Los Angeles. While it may be expensive to launch in NYC and LA, the populations of the cities are home to many customers. Both locations are media capitals, which may assist with publicity. The debut cities provide ample chances to see if brick-and-mortar stores are feasible. If so, then the company can roll more out across the country. If not, the two locations could continue to deliver publicity and branding benefits.
Millennials may drive the company’s sales figures in the coming years. These young shoppers want to display an appealing look, one that mixes and matches different fashion bits. Budget limitations might hold some back. A consignment luxury shop, however, could open a door for them. The company then thrives on these young customer’s revenues.
Online traffic at the retailer’s website shows the business is catching on with shoppers. Of course, not everyone who browses online becomes a buyer. However, the high visitor numbers suggest there’s interest in the company. Perhaps, in time, a larger percentage of these visitors will become buyers. If so, then the current generous sales figures might become even more impressive.