With more than 14,000 stores expected to close this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially cruel to physical retailers. A spike in coronavirus cases in many states means consumers won’t be rushing to shopping centers just yet. They’re buying more online, and resale sites are partly filling the void.
Luxury resale site The RealReal
The RealReal is teaming up with Gucci to create a curated shop for the brand, featuring 2,000 items from the label and from consignors. ThredUp is launching a rebranding campaign that reflects a change in the way thrift is perceived. ThredUp cofounder and CEO James Reinhart said thrifting has come out of the closet, and is being celebrated, not covered up.
“The perception of thrift has changed,” Reinhart said. “Consumers aren’t only open to shopping secondhand, but they’re wearing it proudly. ThredUp’s brand evolution acknowledges this shift from stigma to status, and celebrates our community of thrifters who are thinking of secondhand first.”
Secondhand had estimated sales of $28 billion last year, and is quickly growing. According to Thredup, 70% of consumers are open to buying secondhand products. About two in three consumers see no stigma in wearing used clothing, and most are actually proud to buy it. Gen Z is even more bullish and uses secondhand purchases to broadcast sustainable values to the world.
“In the early days of ThredUp, our goal was to convert skeptics. Our brand was designed to shake up preconceptions about secondhand and build trust,” said Anthony Marino, president. “Today we have less convincing to do. Skeptics have become fans and advocates. Any stigma has been replaced by pride. We have a new opportunity to create a brand that is authentically and unapologetically thrift.”
A campaign with the tag line, which is also a hashtag – #thriftloudly – features images of fashion set against colorful graphics and messages such as “Used Just Got a Brand New Look.” ThredUp’s Reinhart declined to comment on a possible IPO, but other bold moves such as a partnership with Walmart Inc., are pointing in that direction.
The RealReal, which traffics in the sale of gently worn or preloved luxury apparel, jewelry and accessories, announced one of its biggest brand partnerships, a hookup with Gucci that will bring a dedicate brand shop to the ecommerce site through the end of the year.
The highly-sought after label is prized by Gen Z and Millennials, which are driving the growth in the sector, and gives The RealReal a boost. The move is no doubt being closely watched by other high-end European heritage brands.
Gucci x The RealReal Shop, will a mix of pieces directly from Gucci as well The RealReal consignors, with new items curated daily across recent and current season pieces, classic bestsellers and special vintage pieces in women’s, men’s, fine jewelry and watches, home and kids.
“It’s powerful to have brands put their weight behind driving resale engagement, especially Gucci,” said Allison Sommer, senior director of strategic initiatives at The RealReal. “By encouraging their community to not only consign, but shop resale as well, Gucci is showing that the secondary market is complementary to the primary market. I certainly hope that our partnership shines a spotlight on the importance of circularity in fashion and inspires industry-wide change. Whether it’s other luxury brands reaching out to work with us or adopting alternative sustainable models, we support any avenue to keeping fashion in circulation and out of landfills.”
Gucci is one of The RealReal’s most in-demand luxury brands year after year. The brand continues to see strong growth in resale demand, which was up another 19 percent this year. It is the most in-demand men’s brand for the third year in a row, and commands strong resale value for consignors, 2.3 times stronger than average compared to all brands sold on The RealReal.
However, in terms of overall demand, according to The RealReal’s 2020 Luxury Market Report, released in June, Gucci ceded its number one position to Louis Vuitton for the first time in the platform’s history. Louis Vuitton edged it way above Gucci by capturing the greatest share of demand among younger demographics, while high demand among men helped keep Gucci ahead of Chanel, which clocked in at number three.
As an added incentive, for every Gucci item bought or consigned, Gucci and The RealReal will plant a tree through the nonprofit organization, One Tree Planted to help global reforestation efforts, which include planting new trees in the Amazon Rainforest and replenishing California forests damaged during this year’s wildfire season.