When TheRealReal did a New York pop-up store last year, it raked in $2 million in just two weeks. That happens when you sell brands like Christian Louboutin, Cartier, Chanel and Hermès. And yet TheRealReal is more than just another luxury retailer. It’s a consignment shop filled with rigorously vetted luxury goods and supported by a strong culture of customer service. Now located at 80 Wooster St. in SoHo, TheRealReal gives luxury shoppers the chance to go on treasure hunts just like those that have made Ross and T.J. Maxx such winners across the country.
Perverse as it might sound, this store offers its own forms of value. Vying for high-end merchandise on eBay is risky, to say the least, because seller-driven Internet marketplaces tend to be awash in fakes. Thanks to TheRealReal’s authentication guarantees, you can rest easy when shelling out $60,000 for an Ostrich-skin Birkin bag [yes, it’s a thing]. Along the same lines, a consignor might find value in having a stylist from TheRealReal swing by her house to pick up a Patek Phillippe watch that’s been gathering dust, saving her a trip to SoHo. If you live outside of New York and have something to sell, you can ship it to TheRealReal and they will keep what they like and return the rest. There’s also the more conventional value of just strolling into the shop and finding a bargain, like a Jason Woo dress for $80.
I love this mix of high design and high value, plus the opportunity to bring a digitally-native retailer into brick and mortar. There’s more competition to come in this untapped market.