Neiman Marcus invested in luxury handbag, accessories and jewelry reseller Fashionphile in April and is ready to introduce the brand to its customers in Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Starting this long Black Friday weekend, the Dallas-based luxury department store’s partner is ready to buy back luxury goods at Fashionphile Studio locations that opened this week inside Neiman Marcus stores.
The first one in Texas is at NorthParkCenter, which has historically had the highest volume of the 43 Neiman Marcus stores.
It’s a sleek but small Fashionphile-labeled counter tucked away on the store’s third level, but it represents a big step for the company in recognizing that some of its customers buy and resell luxury goods.
Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck has said that more than half the retailer’s customers are already “engaged in pre-owned luxury.”
Carlsbad, Calif.-based Fashionphile has one showroom where people can shop and trade at its headquarters. Stores also opened this week in three Neiman Marcus stores in California: Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and San Diego.
At its NorthPark store, the Fashionphile counter will be open from 10 to 6 Monday through Saturday and staffed by a Fashionphile employee. Fashionphile customers can also pick up their purchases from the online reseller.
Customers dropping off merchandise will be offered checks, PayPal, direct deposit, wire transfer, Fashionphile store credit or Neiman Marcus gift cards. The last two options come with a 10% bonus payment. Check Fashionphile’s website before setting up an appointment. This reseller trades in top luxury brands only.
“A few specialty items may require additional expertise to quote and authenticate, but payment is issued at the time of appointment,” said John Walls, Neiman Marcus spokesman.
Another digital brand, Rent the Runway, has a new presence inside two local Nordstrom stores: Galleria Dallas and NorthPark Center.
Rent the Runway, a subscription service that rents apparel and other goods to its customers for a monthly fee, has partnered with Nordstrom. This month, Rent the Runway drop boxes were added to more Nordstrom locations for a total of 29.
As part of the partnership, Rent the Runway customers are offered some services that only Nordstrom cardholders and Nordy rewards program members get: free gift wrapping and earned alteration credits.
Jenn Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway, said that as its business has grown, its customers wanted more physical experiences, including the convenience of drop-off boxes.
At Galleria Dallas, the drop box is on level one near the garage entrance to shoes. At NorthPark Center, it’s on level 3 right inside the parking garage entrance.
Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores, said the expansion of the partnership “helps us better serve our customers through innovation around products and experiences.”
There’s more to this partnership, and it’s one that will be closely watched in the retail industry. Nordstrom is contributing merchandise to the Rent the Runway ecosystem, and the two companies are working to create exclusive products available for purchase and rental.
Away is one of those digitally native brands that jumped on the scene, fueled with investor funds and a new product that its founders believe can disrupt a category.
The way the business model goes, products are sold directly to the customer instead of wholesale through other retailers.
The point is to preserve “the intimate relationship we’re building with customers,” said Will Williams, Away’s senior director of retail. “By selling direct and with no wholesale accounts, we can also sell product without having to mark up the price.”
Well, it’s worked out pretty well for Away so far. Since it started shipping in February 2016, it has sold more than 1 million suitcases.
The New York-based company was co-founded in 2015 by Steph Korey and Jen Rubio, two former employees of disruptor pioneer Warby Parker, which has changed the prescription eyeglasses business.
Away’s hard-shell luggage has a phone charger. Companion travel bags and backpacks are designed to slip on the extended handle.
The brand has expanded into travel publishing with its Here magazine. Away has raised $156 million and in May announced a series of funding that valued the company at more than $1.4 billion.
Luggage is a popular gift for the holidays, and Away doesn’t want to miss out on Dallas shoppers. It’s opening a temporary store on Knox Street from Black Friday through Jan. 5.
Sometime next year, it will reopen in the same location at 3109 Knox Street once the space is built out as a permanent store.
The brand discovered quickly that stores were in its future, said Williams. “Our customers go back and forth. They research our inventory online then come to the store to buy, or come and look in the store and leave and buy online.”
The plan is to open 50 new stores over the next three years in the U.S. and abroad, Williams said. It has six U.S. stores and one in London, and it opened its first Texas store in Austin’s Domain Northside in 2017.
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Maria Halkias, Staff writer. Maria Halkias has covered the retail scene for The Dallas Morning News since 1993.
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