Neiman Marcus Buys Stake in Pre-Owned E-Tailer Fashionphile

Neiman Marcus has purchased a minority stake in Fashionphile, an online seller of pre-owned luxury items, including jewelry.

This makes the department store the “first major luxury retailer to directly invest in” the pre-owned market, according to its statement.

Terms were not disclosed.

As part of the deal, consumers will be able to drop off used items at select Neiman Marcus locations and receive an immediate payment. The used items will be sold online only at Fashionphile, however.

The statement did not say how many of Neiman’s 43 stores would offer this service or what form it would take.

“Over half our customers already engage in pre-owned luxury,” said Neiman Marcus CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck in a statement. “With Fashionphile, we will engage with customers participating in the secondary market and introduce Neiman Marcus to younger and aspirational shoppers already devoted to luxury brands.”

Fashionphile was founded in 1999 and is currently profitable, the statement says.

In a blog post, Fashionphile founder and president Sarah Davis said she was typing with “actual tears in her eyes,” and she called Neiman’s move “historic” for the “recommerce” category.

“When we started Fashionphile twenty years ago, the stigma of pre-owned meant that we occupied a relatively niche category frequented mostly by you early adopters and loyal fashionphiles who ‘get it,’ ” she said. “But as the years went by…you told a friend, who told some friends. And it only took a matter of time until the pre-owned revolution entered mainstream culture.”

Neiman is not the only old-line luxury name that has expressed interest in the pre-owned sector. Last year, Richemont purchased WatchFinder, an online seller of secondhand timepieces.

This isn’t even Neiman Marcus’ first foray into the category. In 2015, it launched a partnership with The RealReal to offer consignment services in its stores.

Top: Fashionphile’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. (image courtesy of Neiman Marcus)

JCK News Director