Among off-pricers, Saks Off 5th wants to dominate the resale sector.
The company has been building up a network of sources supplying pre-owned fashion since 2020 when it first partnered with LXR & Co., for pre-owned vintage handbags and luxury accessories from brands like Prada, Celine, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
In July, Saks Off 5th partnered with Rent the Runway to sell pre-owned women’s apparel from the ready-to-wear assortment and last month Saks Off 5th launched with 2 Authenticators, which specializes in the resale of luxury handbags and small leather goods.
Just last week, Off Fifth launched with Reflaunt, thereby adding menswear, men’s accessories, and men’s and women’s footwear and sunglasses to the assortment of pre-owned merchandise. Off 5th expects to add hundreds of pre-owned items each week through this new partnership, including for the first time Hermès, Loewe, Fendi, Comme des Garçons, Acne, Balmain, Courrèges and Emilio Pucci, while expanding its access to brands like Balenciaga, Prada, Tom Ford and Jil Sander.
With new and pre-owed combined, more than 1,000 brands were introduced over the last two years, the company said.
These partnerships enable Saks Off 5th to introduce brands it didn’t previously sell, expand selections from those already carried, tap a rapidly growing segment of customers seeking more value, and support the circular economy.
“In our journey for market share entirely within the luxury off-price space, we’ve been building out the core business in off-price, but we see resale as a huge opportunity,” Paige Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Saks Off 5th, told WWD in an exclusive interview. “Resale offers a real strong value proposition for Saks Off 5th customers. They are engaged in resale and overall 85 percent of respondents to a survey we conducted are comfortable to purchase resale from Off 5th.”
Saks Off 5th surveyed by email its adviser group, which includes more than 5,000 engaged customers.
“We’re still focused on luxury,” said Molly Taylor, chief merchant for Saks Off 5th, though she added that both Rent the Runway and Reflaunt have contemporary labels, that while still upscale, would not necessarily be considered true designer labels. “Reflaunt has some contemporary but leads with designer,” said Taylor.
“Customer response to our new partners in pre-owned has exceeded expectations,” said Taylor.
Asked what shoppers are gravitating to most in pre-owned, Taylor said: “We still see gravitation toward handbags and small leather goods, but as a general word, they are responding to fashion, to something unique that they can’t find anywhere else. Some of the best sell-throughs have been at Rent the Runway from edgier contemporary brands. Solace London (from Rent the Runway) is a very edgy brand. It’s had the sell-through of any brand in our Reflaunt launch. It almost completely sold out to the piece.” With Reflaunt, dresses has been the top-selling category so far, Taylor said.
To spotlight the pre-owned goods, the Off 5th website has navigation on its top right corner with the option to shop pre-owned by brand, category, or by Rent the Runway. If you are shopping by category or brand, pre-owned items will come up within those arrays.
“We are still really in the beginning of this in terms of the penetration of resale to our total business,” said Taylor. On the Off 5th website, as of Monday, there were about 1,100 pre-owned items for sale, though the item count changes very rapidly considering the speed on which Off 5th buys and sells merchandise, and the fluid and opportunistic nature of the off-price model.
According to Thomas, “Molly and her team are driving aggressive merchandise expansion” for new and pre-owned goods, getting hundreds of new items each week. The pre-owned merchandise is sold on Saksoff5th.com, with the exception of LXR merchandise being carried in more than 20 Off 5th stores.
The executives said they want to expand the pre-owned selections within the categories being offered and continue to have conversations with other suppliers in the sector.
“The launch of our partnership with Saks Off 5th is a momentous step in Reflaunt’s mission to ignite growth of the fashion industry with the resale of products that are already in the market and still hold tremendous value,” Stephanie Crespin, cofounder and CEO of Reflaunt, said in a statement.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, the resale market is growing two to three times faster than the retail sector, and by 2025 it will be a $50 billion business globally.