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Neiman Marcus expands its collaboration with an online consignment retailer

July 22, 2015 03:00 PM
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A leading luxury online consignment retailer has come up with a new way to pay consumers who give it clothing to sell: in gift cards aimed at getting those consignors to spend more money on upscale fashion.

The RealReal Inc., No. 239 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, will give shoppers who sell goods through its site the option of receiving commission for those goods in the form of Neiman Marcus gift cards instead of cash. Neiman Marcus is No. 43 in the Top 500.

There’s extra incentive for consignors to choose the cards over cash. The card option gives them an extra 10% over what they would otherwise receive for their sales. A spokeswoman for The RealReal tells Internet Retailer that the idea for paying consignors in gift cards surfaced after surveying individuals who sell items on TheRealReal.com. The overall goal is twofold. “[This partnership] helps The RealReal attract new consignors while also helping attract new customers through the gift card program,” she says. The arrangement also allows Neiman Marcus to offer customers a personalized consignment service, she says.

The retailers also announced the expansion of The RealReal’s in-store consignment program from six Neiman Marcus locations to 34, which will give The RealReal a presence in 83% of Neiman Marcus’s stores. The pilot program launched in February. The RealReal’s executive vice president of sales, Ann Paolini, is a former Neiman Marcus executive, having joined the consignment retailer in late 2013 after 25 years at Neiman Marcus.

The expansion of the partnership with Neiman Marcus comes after The RealReal in April raised $40 million in a round of funding, which founder Julie Wainwright said at the time would help the company expand its business. According to CrunchBase, The RealReal has raised $83 million to date.

The RealReal’s spokeswoman says there are no immediate plans to expand its in-store consignment program to the remaining seven Neiman Marcus stores, but it does hope to do so in the future.

 

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