The Real Real is testing beauty.
The luxury resale e-commerce site — which operates a brick-and-mortar location in Manhattan’s SoHo and a pop-up in Las Vegas — has quietly added beauty products to its assortment. Industry sources say the products have been available for sale in the SoHo store since the holiday season, and they are sold in the Las Vegas outpost as well.
“We are testing a curated selection of beauty products both online and in our brick-and-mortar locations with the goal of really completing the customer journey,” said Rati Levesque, chief merchant at The Real Real. “We want luxury consumers to view us as a trusted destination to find the most covetable selection of luxury products across all categories from clothing to beauty. Right now we are in the early stages, but plan to invest more heavily in the category in coming months.”
Contrary to The Real Real’s consignment-based business model, the beauty products being sold are new, sources say. Brands being sold are of the clean beauty variety, in line with The Real Real’s sustainable luxury positioning. They include Pai Skincare, Rahua, Ellis Brooklyn, Babo Botanicals, Joanna Vargas, In Fiore, Maison Louis Marie, Kahina Giving Beauty, Olio E Osso, Julisis, Uma Oils, Grown Alchemist, Cap Beauty and more.
Sources say the products are sold to The Real Real directly, not via third-party distributors.
The Real Real is the latest apparel retailer to delve into the beauty space. Anthropologie, Free People and Madewell last year rolled out significant beauty initiatives, and Forever 21 opened eight Riley Rose stores, focused on Internet-born, Millennial-friendly brands. Industry experts agree that beauty is a way for retailers to attract customers to brick-and-mortar stores, along with authenticating their brand positioning. Sources told WWD The Real Real is likely more interested in the latter.
Said founder and chief executive officer Julie Wainwright in an interview with WWD in October: “We’re getting beauty and home brands that want to sell new product in our store. The lines are starting to blur a little. We’ll have space for special sales and we’re talking to certain people.”