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Rebag Joins The RealReal and Rent the Runway in Opening Stores

Fresh from closing a $25 million Series C funding round, luxury handbag reseller Rebag is on a store opening “spree.”

The company is growing its business through new store openings, and the latest on Thursday is in southern California’s Westfield Santa Anita Mall. The store represents Rebag‘s sixth brick-and-mortar location, the third one in California and its second mall location. The company currently operates a total of three stores in California, and three in New York. Its other mall location is Westfield World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan.

Charles Gorra, Rebag’s founder and chief executive officer, told Sourcing Journal, “With six of our ‘Handbag Heavens’ now operating across New York City and Los Angeles, we plan to continue increasing that portfolio to 30 in the medium term.” He declined to specify in which city the next store would be opening or even whether it would be another freestanding store or inside a mall.

The company’s Santa Anita store is adjacent to Nordstrom, Michael Kors and Swarovski. Rebag has been looking at data from online and mobile transactions, whether buying or selling, to determine where it should open new stores. All stores feature the brand’s signature pastel yellow walls, as well as its Hermès Birkin Wall and its Rebag Bar. And the company is continuing with its Rebag Infinity program, which lets buyers return to the store within six months of purchase to resell the bag for at least 70 percent of their purchase price, with the proceeds available as a store credit for the next purchase.

Rebag began as a digital option, opening its first pop-up shop in the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan in November 2017. It quickly ramped up store openings with two in Manhattan and now three in Los Angeles, all within 18 months.

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Other digitally native brands, with similarly “alternative” business models, have also opened new stores this week.

The RealReal on Wednesday expanded its brick-and-mortar presence with a new store on Madison Ave. in New York’s Upper East Side. The store is smaller than its SoHo flagship, but still includes its curated mix of women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, fine jewelry and watches, and a selection of art and home pieces. The store also houses the brand’s Luxury Consignment Office, where consumers can do consignment drop-offs, obtain valuations on items, and make appointments to create a tailored in-store shopping experience.

The Upper East Side store joins two other stores. In addition to the two in Manhattan, the third store is in Los Angeles’ Melrose neighborhood. The company also operates 10 consignment offices around the country. The RealReal is also said to be considering an initial public offering this year.

Rent the Runway also opened a store on Thursday, its West Coast flagship in San Francisco. The store at 228 Grant Avenue is an 8,300-square-foot venue that is located on the second and third floors. The apparel and accessories are mostly located on the second floor along with appointment fitting rooms, while the third is reserved as a lounge and co-working space. It also features the brand’s first-ever “Beauty Bar,” and its first communal dressing room. The new store, which features more than 20 appointment fitting rooms, is Rent the Runway’s largest store to date.

The company said San Francisco is the firm’s largest subscription market. With the addition of the San Francisco store, Rent the Runway now operates a total of five physical stores. Rent the Runway in March hit unicorn status after raising $125 million that bumped its valuation of $1 billion. It too is believed to be considering an IPO.