Neiman Marcus has invested in an online secondhand luxury handbag store in its bid to woo millennial and Gen Z shoppers

Facebook/Neiman MarcusNeiman Marcus has invested in Fashionphile.
  • Neiman Marcus has acquired a minority stake in Fashionphile, an online resale platform for luxury handbags, jewellery, and accessories.
  • The retailer is cashing in on a shift toward more secondhand and resale shopping driven by younger consumers.
  • Customers will be able to receive an immediate quote in Neiman Marcus stores for any items that they want to sell on Fashionphile. They will also be paid for those items there and then so they can “reinvest” in new luxury items while still in the store.

Neiman Marcus wants in on retail’s hottest new trend: resale.

On Wednesday, the luxury department store chain announced that it had acquired a minority stake in Fashionphile, an online resale platform for luxury handbags, jewellery, and accessories.

In a statement to the press, the company called out its desire to attract younger shoppers as a key reason for this investment.

“The exclusive partnership will serve as a catalyst for Neiman Marcus to enable its existing customers to participate in pre-owned, while also reaching new, younger shoppers ahead of their peak spending years,” it said.

Secondhand e-commerce site ThredUp recently estimated that the resale apparel market will be worth $US41 billion by 2022, up from $US20 billion in 2017. This jump is based on its expectation of 15% annual growth between 2017 and 2022, which outpaces the 2% annual growth it predicts for retail as a whole in that same period. ThredUp also estimates that resale apparel will account for 10% of total retail sales by 2022, up from less than 6% a year ago.

Experts believe that the demand for resale is being driven by more price conscious, sustainability minded millennial and gen z shoppers.

“There is a greater sensibility around sustainability,” Lennox Thomas, Goodwill NYNJ executive vice president for retail operations, recently told Business Insider. “It is part of their consciousness growing up.”

“When we started Fashionphile twenty years ago, the stigma of pre-owned meant that we occupied a relatively niche category frequented mostly by you early adopters and loyal fashionphiles who ‘get it,'” company founder Sarah Davis, wrote in a post online announcing the news. “But as the years went by… you told a friend, who told some friends. And it only took a matter of time until the pre-owned revolution entered mainstream culture.”

This isn’t the first time Neiman Marcus has dipped its toes into the resale market, however. In 2015, it partnered with The Real Real; that partnership promptly came to an end one year later.

“We are at a different point in time than we were three years ago,” Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck, told The Wall Street Journal. “The resale industry has grown faster and is now something our customers are much more engaged in.”

Neiman Marcus said that its customers will also be able to receive an immediate quote in store for any items that they want to sell on Fashionphile. They were also be paid for these items there and then so they can “reinvest” in new luxury items in the store.

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