STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 3 - 26
Continued from page 18
on marketing and pushing stuff out than
on trying to maintain authenticity and the
real quality that made luxury great in the
It wasn't that long ago that it was
hard to imagine any sort of luxury being
sold in the "Wild West" of ecommerce -
much less items that had been pre-owned.
But several things have happened since.
The recession helped change perceptions
about value and buying at a discount. As
a culture, we've lost much of our wariness
about shopping online. We're not only more
likely to trust an online retailer - but also
more likely to trust the retailer will offer
authenticated, quality goods.
We've also become more aware of
environmental and social concerns - and,
for the most part, grown in our desire to
simplify, declutter, reuse and recycle.
That combination has helped online
consignment grow by leaps and bounds;
thredUP's annual resale report expects the
online resale market to increase from $18
billion in 2016 to $33 billion in 2021.
As for luxury consignment in particular, Aaron Cheris, who heads Bain & Company's Americas retail practice, notes that
more than half of luxury pre-owned sales
in the United States are now online rather
than in bricks-and-mortar stores.
"That's wildly different than new
luxury goods," he says. "There, less than
10 percent are sold online and 90 percent
What's surprising to him is that legacy
online retailers like eBay - which makes
up close to a third of the used luxury market
in the U.S., he says - haven't yet created
a secondary label to handle these goods.
"There's no reason legacy e-tailers
couldn't do it," he says, rather than being
disrupted by something like LUXE. eBay
did announce at the start of 2017 that it
would soon roll out an authentication ser-
thredUP recently introduced LUXE, a
designer segment for online consignment.
vice, which could be their way of seizing
the opportunity. How it will impact confidence in luxury ecommerce resale overall
remains to be seen.
Third visit to the store in a month
Shoplifted twice in six months
First time shopper
Shopped in our other
location last month
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It's not the only question related to the
future of online luxury consignment. Cheris
wonders whether it will expand to other segments such as used high-end art or furniture.
Jewelry raises other concerns, again related
to the level of authentication involved.
That's one reason jewelry is not part of
the picture for LUXE - at least for now,
Reinhart says. There was a strong desire
to start things off right; other LUXE rules
include no men's clothing, formal gowns,
items with signs of wear, counterfeits - or
items over 10 years old. (Once again, think
pre-owned but not vintage.)
"Any time you launch a product like
this with very expensive things, it's worth
taking the time to get it right. We've built
a process, and then we really engage with
the customer. If we have any questions
about whether something is real, we reach
out to them and we ask questions about the
item," he says.
"We're taking a very deliberate approach to ensure that the consignor is
getting a great service, and that the buyer
can trust the experience. We certainly
don't want to participate in anything that's
fraudulent. It's an area where we've invested a lot of time, and it's an area where
we'll continue to get smarter."
A list of the brands LUXE will accept
is provided online; Reinhart says it was
developed by paying close attention to what
others have successfully set as standards
- there's no use in reinventing the wheel.
He feels the high-low balance will set
thredUP's offering apart from competitors,
along with the ability of the consumer to
buy and sell with ease across multiple
price points. Sites that are solely dedicated
to luxury resale "will find it hard to compete," he says.
There has been a recent trend of luxury
consignment sites - which some call luxury
"re-commerce" - presenting themselves
first as technology companies. Fung noted
in its February 2017 report, "Deep Dive:
Fashion Re-Commerce Evolution," that
investors had poured more than half a billion
dollars into the online fashion consignment
industry overall since 2009, another indicator of market value and growth.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 3
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