The RealReal ($REAL) offers luxury consignment at your fingertips, an online marketplace where you can buy and sell lightly loved designer items. We reported on the company’s impressive pre-IPO growth last year, with its LinkedIn headcount nearly doubling since 2018. Its fourth-quarter earnings, which came out today, were less remarkable.
Gross merchandise value increased 39% year-over-year to $303 million, while the company's total revenue increased 57% year-over-year to $97.3 million. But things could improve for The RealReal as it becomes a leader in the burgeoning online consignment industry.
Poshmark ($PRIVATE:POSHMARK) and ThredUp ($PRIVATE:THREDUP) are among The RealReal’s main competitors. Poshmark sails above both companies in terms of Twitter following and Facebook engagement, but The RealReal outpaces them when it comes to relative growth. The RealReal’s Facebook ‘Talking About’ count has increased by 42%, while Poshmark’s count is down 58% and ThredUp’s mentions have dropped 35%.
The RealReal’s LinkedIn headcount has also continued to grow at a steady pace, currently at 1,630 employees, which is up 260 from our last report in June.
The fashion industry is on a sustainability kick, which is a boon for these secondhand services. According to Google Trends, search interest in the term “sustainable fashion” has risen over 200% since 2018. Earlier this month, The RealReal partnered with the LA/NYC-based brand Eckhaus Latta for their New York Fashion Week presentation. Each runway look was paired with designer shoes sourced from TheRealReal.
Meanwhile, ThredUp has partnered with a number of retail brands, including Gap ($GPS) and Nordstrom ($JWN), on used clothing exchanges and pop-up shops. The RealReal opened its first retail location in 2017 and now has three stores in NYC and LA. And while Poshmark seems to be doing fine without physical stores or brand collaborations, it could be missing out on the next big trend in secondhand shopping.
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