The RealReal is a luxury consignment store that sells jewelry and clothing. The company is based out of San Fransisco and was founded by current CEO Julie Wainwright.
The company, which previously has been strictly online only, has recently landed a 50 million dollar growth fund from Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm. The company plans to use this investment, along with other investments, to open up physical stores across the country, first in New York City.
Julie calls these small stores pop-ups, temporary homes to The RealReal brand that will be in a particular location for a certain amount of time and then they will be gone. The general idea of the pop-up shop is to take advantage of seasonal trends to increase sales and then moving to another location before demand for the product has a chance to stagnate.
The New York City pop-up was an instant success, bringing in 2 million in extra revenue for the company in 2016. The store was such a success that they decided to make the location a permanent store.
The New York location features a two-story building with the men’s department downstairs and the women’s department upstairs. In the women’s section, the main attraction is a 35 foot wall consisting of 13 hidden closets. The men’s department changes its rotation of rare sneaker stock daily, encouraging return customers, even if they don’t necessarily plan on purchasing. With these unique and beautiful features, it leaves no room to wonder why the store was such a hit. If as much thought and effort are put into the future locations, I have no doubt that they too will be huge successes.
“Once somebody walks in a gets sucked into the cool features and values of the brand, they become loyalists,” Julie Wainwright, CEO, said. Julie states that her philosophy concerning retail consists of ideas that the product themselves are not enough. She says customers are hungry for the next unique shopping experience.
Julie ended her interview by stressing that future locations are not guaranteed to become permanent, but it would seem that is her goal.