Resale and consignment shops have been around forever. While charitable organizations may come to mind when you think of resale shops, there have also been many local, privately-owned resale and consignment stores around. In the past, there seems to have always been a stigma attached to being a shopper at a thrift store or a resale shop. Lately, however, with the emergence of a greater focus on a greener society, resale has started to be a trendy alternative for many people. As the economy continues to tighten and the public demand for luxury items increases, resale and consignment shops may be on the rise. In our current market, many brick and mortar retail stores are closing their doors due to the prevalence of online shopping which has opened the door for a new avenue of selling for resale and consignment shops.
The RealReal is one of these new shops. Founded in 2011 by Julie Wainwright as a means of buying and selling used luxury items online, the company has now grown to over 600 employees. The success of the business seems to lie in the discretion of its operations as well as a growing trend towards not wasting valuable goods. Sellers can anonymously conduct their transactions while the buyers can as well if purchasing online eliminating much of the stigma associated with consignment shops in the past.
The RealReal recently celebrated opening their second storefront located in Los Angeles. The shop boasts over 12,000 square feet of shopping space and is located in a trendy shopping spot on Melrose Avenue. Almost half of the space is devoted to menswear and a sizable portion is for handbags. There is a curbside area designed for those anonymous sellers as well as a coffee shop for snacks. And, of course, authentication experts are on site making sure the luxury items are the real deal.
The RealReal plans on continuing to expand both its online presence as well as seeking other retail opportunities. As more traditional retail stores are failing, it is refreshing to see the emergence of this new, green approach to shopping.