Retail is hurting, but resale looks haute these days

Due to the Coronavirus, investors are betting big on pre-owned luxury duds.


April 22, 2020

Times are tough for retail. Sales across all categories plunged a record-setting 8.7% last month. Clothing and accessories took the hardest hit, falling 50.5%.

So it might come as a surprise that luxury resale platforms — think The RealReal and Rebag — are looking especially chic these days.

Investors are betting on pre-owned Prada

As Business of Fashion reports, the secondhand specialists at the Vestiaire Collective recently raised a fresh $63m in funding. The company’s CEO didn’t dish on its exact valuation, but did divulge that the figure is 50% higher than it was in June 2019.

And with clothes horses homebound and bored, people are cleaning out their closets and surfing the web for their next splurge — yielding big business.

  • Vestiaire Collective reported its biggest ever sales day ever last week.
  • Daily listings are 33% higher than they were before the pandemic.
  • And European sales are up 20%, too.

Pre-pandemic, luxury resale platforms were expected to collectively rake in $36B by next year. Now, that number could be higher.

The boom could toss the luxury sector a (very stylish) life jacket 

Although independent boutiques are temporarily closed — and some retail stalwarts like Neiman Marcus are expected to file for bankruptcy — there’s an opportunity to move inventory by partnering with resale platforms.

The RealReal has seen its inventory spike 30% over the past 6 weeks.

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