NEW YORK -- Neiman Marcus Group is getting serious about the fast growing secondhand luxury business.
The Dallas-based luxury retailer said Wednesday it has acquired a minority stake in Fashionphile LLC, an online seller of preowned accessories.
As part of the deal, Neiman Marcus and Fashionphile, founded in 1999, will be launching new ways for both buyers and sellers to more easily participate in the preowned market. That means at select Neiman Marcus stores, customers will be able to not only receive an immediate quote for their items from Fashionphile but also payments they can spend immediately on new luxury items at the store. Neiman Marcus says it will not be selling any preowned merchandise at its stores.
The move comes as Neiman Marcus is trying to reinvent itself as its affluent shoppers spend more online.
Neiman Marcus's first Fashionphile salon in its stores will open this fall, but the location hasn't been set yet, according to Neiman Marcus's CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck.
"We want to meet the needs of our customers," Van Raemdonck said. "I feel a sense of urgency."
Van Raemdonck says more than 50% of Neiman Marcus's customers sell or buy preowned goods, according to its own study. He believes the new partnership will help make it easier for shoppers to get their payment and then quickly use the newfound money to buy new goods at the store.
This isn't Neiman Marcus's first try at second hand. It had a short-lived partnership with The RealReal, an online seller and buyer of secondhand designer goods a few years ago. Van Raemdonck says the secondhand market has become much more popular with its customers since then.
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