468 Retail and Channel Management Blog

Monday, March 13, 2017

Grailed: Innovative Strategy Meets Nice, Online Retailing

Grailed: Innovative Strategy
Meets Niche, Online Retailing

by Raeland Mendoza  

  Grailed, the online menswear fashion-reselling site that has taken the industry by storm recently announced that it was expanding its operations into womenswear. As covered on Grailed, The Online Markeplace for Menswear Enthusiasts, To Expand into Womenswear by Alyssa Vingan Klein for the online publication Fashionista – this marks an unprecedented benchmark of success for the peer-to-peer resale site. For the uninitiated, their premise is simple: men’s fashion enthusiasts put sale listings for their gently used clothing online. Other enthusiasts then communicate directly to them to facilitate a sale transaction (with a nominal sales fee). This eloquently simple model is what made Grailed a success, so much so that their name is now considered a verb in the vernacular of fashion circles (Grailed: To purchase a piece of clothing that you have been pining for, and is often rare and exclusive in nature). Through deconstructing Grailed’s Retail Value Preposition (RVP), it is clear that their highly strategic use of category, brand and customer management, along with adept use of social media content marketing allows Grailed to hone into their target market with laser like focus.

  What first elevates Grailed’s online shopping experience is its high standard of curated product for sale. To paraphrase a segment of the accompanying video in the Fashionista article, their inventory surpasses their competition of eBay, while maintaining a high standard of luxury goods to the point that they can directly compete with luxury department stores like Barney’s. It is apparent that their inventory is for the well versed, with niche brands that are difficult to find in mainstream retailers in both physical and online retailers. However, since the items are second hand (but often in mint condition) the price point is substantially lower than retail. This approach of highly curated selection transcends their inventory category management into their brand and customer management as well. Because their brands stocked already have cult-like status, Grailed positions themselves as the primary medium to find these hidden treasures.  This positioning directly engages with the already highly subcultural nature of fashion enthusiasts. Also, the “enthusiast-to-enthusiast” foundational culture of Grailed creates a general higher sense of trust between seller and buyer – which was always a crux in peer-based selling models. This is all complimented with on-brand social media, blog and editorial content, and a mobile iOS app. Ultimately, the online retailer is essentially meeting their target market’s needs at better selection, price points, creating more meaningful relationships, and communicating through all the right channels.


  Their innovative Retail Value Preposition is what makes followers of Grailed’s story wait with baited breath for their jump to womenswear. To quote Grailed’s founder Arun Gupta in the video, he “wanted to give the same community feel” to women after he noticed increasing numbers of women using the site. Women’s fashion trends have always moved exponentially faster than menswear, and their enthusiast market may even be more fanatic. Though it is yet to be seen what is next for Grailed and their new initiative, it is more than likely that Grailed will be meeting their new market with the same innovative strategic tactics that built their brand.



Referenced Articles:

Grailed, The Online Markeplace for Menswear Enthusiasts, To Expand into Womenswear  - By Alyssa Vingan Klein, for Fashionista
http://fashionista.com/2017/02/grailed-womens-marketplace

Accompanying Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjLNcO2hCN4

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