The RealReal managed to raise $300 million in the initial public offering. The accumulated amount helped send the secondhand luxury retailer up by about 50% during the company’s first trading minutes.
From $20 a share from IPO pricing, The RealReal went over $30 apiece in intraday trading on Nasdaq using a symbol of REAL. The retailer closed at a per share cost of $28.90, which is an improvement of 45% within the day and valuing the company at a preliminary market amount of almost $2.5 billion.
Julie Wainwright founded The RealReal in 2011 as an e-commerce retail store for secondhand genuine and high-end luxury products from brands like Cartier and Gucci. The company has over 100 employees that authenticate the luxury goods to avoid selling counterfeit products to clients. The authentication strategy helped the e-commerce luxury store reach over $207 million worth of revenue in 2018.
The RealReal hopes to start a trend in changing the taste of customers when it comes to luxury items. The luxury online retail store currently has a $24 billion valuation. A ThredUp report reveals that it is expecting The RealReal projection to speed past fast-fashion retail stores like H&M within the next ten years. By 2023, ThredUp expects resale to grow to 45% from the current 20% in the market.
Wainwright states that the fast-fashion market is something we at when it comes to short-term clothing. As The RealReal starts to get more millennial customers and consignors, Wainwright believes that customers are beginning to think about sustainability and the waning impact of buying new items. Millennials are no longer afraid to buy second-hand items since most of the shoppers are trying to secure discounts and live more sustainable lifestyles.
According to a report from BCG-Altagamma, 50% of The RealReal’s customers are members of Gen Z, which were born after 1997. The Gen Z members have sold or bought items secondhand. About 56% of the company’s sellers reveal that they are selling their luxury products to extend the lifespan of the products or for environmental reasons. Millennials, meanwhile, make up 64% of the consumers. Around 75% of The RealReal’s sellers and buyers have an average of $50,000 and upwards household incomes annually. As of today, the company sold over 9.4 million luxury items.
Like many second-hand retail stores, The RealReal experienced its fair share of problems with the luxury brands they are selling. Last November, the company found itself in front of a lawsuit from Chanel after the luxury brand claimed that the online marketplace sold over seven counterfeit handbags with Chanel’s brand on the products. The RealReal denied the allegations of Chanel and will defend itself from the lawsuit.
Wainwright states that The RealReal is working hand-in-hand with the police when it comes to counterfeiters. Wainwright shares that the company will also notify the brand about the counterfeiter and confiscate the goods, giving The RealReal more credibility with how it handles the reselling business.
Wainwright has a history of great first-day public offerings like The RealReal. In 2000, Wainwright managed to raise 82.5 million during the first day of Pets.com and received a $290 million valuation for the site. However, Pets.com shut down nine months later.