One big conversation at last week’s Shoptalk conference of retail and tech leaders focused on luxury recommerce and how to offer a branded luxury experience with pre-loved items. It’s not lost on the brands themselves that embracing recommerce is their biggest opportunity to capture and retain more Millennial and Gen Z consumers. These consumers demand more sustainable shopping options; however, the luxury brands have been slow to catch up with these new consumers and have given away recommerce market share to third party platforms such as The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, and ThredUp.
At the same time, making money by selling pre-loved fashion, including luxury items, has proven to be elusive. Business of Fashion recently questioned whether resale can ever be profitable, prompted by the fact that publicly traded companies like The RealReal have yet to turn a profit. The first movers in markets are not always the winners at the end of the day. Along with increased competition in the resale space, the processing, authenticating, and listing thousands of unique items digitally is a significant impediment to profitably.
Resale Marketplaces Aren’t the Only Option for Luxury Players
One person who does believe that money can be made by branded luxury resale is Andy Ruben, Founder and CEO of Trove, which allows brands to reclaim control of their own pre-loved merchandise. He predicts that much of the increased competition within this sector will come directly from the luxury brands themselves. When we sat down together at Shoptalk, we discussed how branded recommerce is the future for luxury fashion. In fact, it’s the only way luxury brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino can control their intellectual property and retain this new luxury shopper.
at Forbes (subscription required).