Over the course of the past few years, the fashion industry has seen substantial growth of recycled style trends. From “paw-through” thrift shopping, to upscale consignment shopping, the “zero waste” mindset is seeping into our consumer society.
The RealReal is one such consignor, though the store is not like the average reseller. TheRealReal started from scratch as a concept brought to life in San Francisco by CEO Julie Wainwright. The company flourishes due to their accessibility of high-end product (including clothing, jewelry, and home goods), and because of their passion for authentic luxury. Authentication experts and genuine articles emanate the attractive lifestyle consumers crave. The RealReal originated online, but they have found there is profit to be had in pop-up foot traffic.
On February 7, 2018, Jessica Schiffer wrote an article for Digiday (based off of an original story on sister site GLOSSY), called “For The RealReal, 2018 will be ‘the year of the pop-up’”. The ‘year of the pop-up’ is what buyers can expect from The RealReal, according to director of marketing, Allison Sommer. The pop-up stores that were set in place in New York City and SoHo over the last couple years were a huge success, furthered in a 2017 San Francisco pop-up. When the consignor established successful pop-up foot traffic, they planted roots into the market community of the area. After the pop-up ended, the newly loyal customers (or “loyalists” to Sommer) were likely to become avid members of the online store. Jessica Schiffer said that the site saw a five-hundred percent year-over-year increase in the number of online buyers from the San Francisco area after the pop-up. In order to make sure that customers are entranced by The RealReal, the company plans to go above expectation in their future pop-up locations. They will include prime authenticators, to private shopping events and educational workshops.
The RealReal is currently the most-funded online luxury resale startup. However, the goal is to invest in areas where pop-ups are a relatively new concept. The freshly sparked interest in local consumers will help the company expand and continue fighting for high-end recycle.