Nordstrom Is Making Resale Feel…Chic?

Curated via Twitter from W Magazine’s twitter account….

But will transparent pricing affect the amount customers are willing to pay for new pieces? “That fear, that questioning whether a business model like this can coexist with a full-price business model, I think it’s still in question,” she said. “And that’s part of what this pop-up is about: What can we learn in these six months about customer behavior, who that customer is, what they’re selling what they’re buying, how they engage with us?

Resale prices are listed next to the original full price for each piece: a “pristine” Ganni mohair pullover that was originally $475 will run you $266. “We’ve been talking about recommerce, resale and vintage for a long time,” Kim said, standing near a display of near-perfect Clare V tote bags. “I was really excited about what it could look like from Nordstrom’s point of view—knowing the breadth of assortment that we offer and knowing that we have such great relationships with brands.

Over the next six months, the department store is devoting a significant chunk of their New York City flagship to the concept, selling past season merchandise, returned items, and previously damaged pieces that have been cleaned and refurbished, at prices akin to a high-end consignment shop.

The concept is a shrewd business decision as much as it is an important environmental one: Rather than selling leftover merchandise to third-party outlets or routing it to their Nordstrom Rack stores, See You Tomorrow helps close the loop while also cutting down on waste in an industry that produces hundreds of thousands of tons of it every year.

In addition to hand-picking her way through pallets of returns and damaged items at the Nordstrom Quality Center, a massive warehouse outside Seattle where all unsold merchandise ends up, Kim reached out to luxury houses personally to see if she could find a place for the things they might not know what to do with.

Good merchandising, savvy curation and transparent pricing go a long way in making second-hand shopping feel exciting, potentially bringing in the type of customer who never would have considered it before. “It’s all about answering the question of ‘What do you do with this stuff that maybe doesn’t seem as desirable? ’” said Kim, “Can you make it desirable and covetable again?

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