Ahead of Fashionphile’s arrival at its fifth Neiman Marcus on Oct. 2, in Palo Alto, Calif., the re-commerce business is giving a preview for VIP customers on Tuesday via a live virtual event from the store.
Set to kick off at noon Pacific time, the livestream will offer a glimpse of the latest Fashionphile Selling Studio, situated inside Neiman’s at the Stanford Shopping Center, and a chance to learn more about the business. Founder and president Sarah Davis will host the online event.
“At our core we’re a fashion technology company, so it feels particularly exciting and fitting to be opening our next Selling Studio in the heart of Silicon Valley,” Davis told WWD. “At a time when many retailers are scrambling to bring more paying customers in the door, our partners at Neiman Marcus are changing the game, giving their luxury clientele a more elegant and frictionless way to instantly cash in on prior luxury investments.“
Fashionphile runs three other studios inside the department store’s locations in California, including one in nearby San Francisco, along with a fourth studio in Texas. The spaces offer customers a place to sell pre-owned luxury handbags and accessories, and the partnership appears to be going so well that more studios are in the works. Expect additional openings later this year and into early 2021.
The partnership between Fashionphile and Neiman Marcus speaks to the luxury segment’s growing focus on consignments and resale, particularly now as both retailers and consumers have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But while the luxury sector tries to crawl out of the economic hole wrought by the health emergency, complete with bankruptcies and store closures, the resale market has been growing.
Neiman Marcus Group late last week emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Meanwhile, NMG’s relationship with Fashionphile appears to be advancing. When it signed on for a minority stake in the spring of 2019, the department store became the first major luxury retailer to directly invest in a company involved in the preowned market.
That may turn out to be a bright spot in tough times. Fashionphile just clocked $38.5 million in a Series B funding round, led by NewSpring Growth. Part of its plan for the funds is to grow its omnichannel footprint. Davis believes Fashionphile’s “innovative retail experience has accelerated the luxury lifecycle,” and apparently others agree.
Resale as a business strategy has gotten even more attention as stores like Macy’s and Walmart pursue their own projects, with the latter striking a deal with ThredUp in May. According to ThredUp, the market for pre-owned goods was expected to reach $23 billion by 2023.
But that was before the pandemic poured fuel on it. Now its projections peg $51 billion by 2023.