Secondhand Sellers Are Going Premium | Kanebridge News
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Secondhand Sellers Are Going Premium

The RealReal and ThredUp have gone upscale to improve profitability—a challenge in tougher economic times

Thu, Aug 10, 2023 8:00amGrey Clock 2 min

In theory, a weakening economic environment seems good for secondhand platforms: People are more likely to sell valuable items from their closets while bargain hunters emerge. In practice, it is a bit more complicated.

The RealReal, an online marketplace for luxury resale, said on Tuesday that gross merchandise value—the total value of goods sold through its platform—fell 7% in its second quarter, worse than the 5.7% decline that Wall Street analysts were penciling in. ThredUp, which sells more generic brands, fared better and reported revenue growth of 8%, exceeding expectations. Both companies reported narrower net losses than analyst expectations, sending The RealReal up 6% in after-hours trading and ThredUp by 2.8%.

Despite better-than-expected profits, the selling environment isn’t exactly hospitable for either platform.

ThredUp, which tries to keep its pricing 60% to 70% lower than what consumers could buy at regular retail, is facing a very promotional environment in which brands are offering steep discounts on new products. On the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, ThredUp said the market for selling clothes remains competitive, though it is improving.

Meanwhile, demand for luxury goods has generally been lukewarm in the U.S. Even the prices of highly coveted secondhand watches such as Rolexes have fizzled recently. ThredUp is projecting a slowdown in top-line growth this year compared with 2022, while The RealReal is expecting a slight decline in sales volume.

Both platforms are trying to attract wealthier, more resilient customers by upgrading their product mixes, even if it reduces their customer base in the near term. ThredUp said the budget shopper continues to look more challenged and said it is focused on attracting the “incrementally more premium buyer.”

The RealReal, meanwhile, has tweaked its commission structure for consignors by allowing them to retain more of the revenue earned from the sale of the most expensive, in-demand items while reducing incentives on products selling for less than $100. While that has reduced the company’s sales volume, it helped improve gross margins to 65.9% last quarter, up about 9 percentage points from a year earlier.

The tricky part for both platforms is that they haven’t been around long enough to know how their target buyers and sellers behave during downturns. Given that both businesses are, to some extent, supply constrained, further weakness could be a good thing if it encourages more people to raid their wardrobes. And, judging by the strong record at off-price retail during downturns, demand for value products should hold up.

So far, though, a weakening economic environment hasn’t been a bonanza for secondhand goods.


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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”


Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”


“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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