Second Time Around, which operates 40 stores across the U.S., wants to capture a bigger piece of the $14 billion to $16 billion resale market.
The retailer, whose tag line is “Resale Goes Upscale,” plans to more than double its store count by 2017. It’s also re-branding itself as 2nd Time Around and launching e-commerce in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
Kristin Burrows, president and chief executive officer, envisions six to eight new stores in Manhattan, which has 10 existing units. “We haven’t touched Brooklyn yet,” she said. And with stores clustered along the Eastern Seaboard, Chicago and Miami are priorities, along with heading West.
Top stores in the chain do $1.5 million to $1.8 million in annual sales, Burrows said. The stores average 1,250 to 1,500 square feet in size.
A new 2nd Time Around logo is visible on stores’ exterior and interior signage and the Web site has been redesigned with bigger images and a modern, less cluttered layout. “The logo and creative identity were inconsistent and looked very thrifty,” Burrows said. “We wanted to create something that was fresh.”
Top-selling brands include Theory, Helmut Lang, J. Crew Black Label, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, T Alexander Wang, Missoni, M Missoni, Vince, Chanel, Burberry and Givenchy.
“It’s a very fragmented market,” Burrows said of resale. “It’s gone through different ebbs and flows.”
According to Burrows, 2nd Time Around competes with mom-and-pop consignment shops and new online players such as The Real Real and Vaunt.
“We have an opportunity to own the contemporary market on up through designer,” she said. “We have the largest base of brick-and-mortar stores and we use them as an asset.”
The two groups of constituents, shoppers and consignors, make the business unique. Burrows wants to make consigning easier, so 2nd Time Around will offer a pick-up service. The company provides online accounts for consignors to track their sales in real time.
Items are put on the sales floor within 48 hours and sell within three weeks on average, she said. Each store has two racks at the front designated “Style Editor Picks,” where looks are merchandised by outfit.
The company has “call-to-purchase” options on its social channels. “We do 10 percent to 12 percent of our sales on social media, especially Instagram,” Burrows said. When e-commerce launches, it will be mobile first and desktop second. “We’ll be adding a CRM database.”
Sales associates are trained to “style like Intermix,” Burrows said. “It’s all about wardrobing.
“We want women to leave feeling beautiful and smart,” Burrows said, noting that prices are generally one-third of retail. Consignors receive 40 percent of apparel sales and 70 percent of sales of trophy handbags such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès.
“We just got two Birkin bags in,” Burrows said, standing in the Chelsea store. “People are looking for unique pieces.”
The firm is introducing a formal loyalty program. About 80 percent of the retailer’s business is generated by 30 percent of its customers.