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Brief Published: 20 Aug 2019

Beijing Flagship Puts Ultra-Luxe Spin on Resale Market

New luxury accessories consignment retailer Musée has opened a flagship in Qianmen, Beijing. One of the most high-end examples of the resale boom yet, the 300 sq m flagship, designed by Shanghai architects Studio 8, is a gallery-esque homage to 'pre-loved' curation.

Connecting to ideas discussed in Raising the Archives: Exhibition-Style Brandships, the flagship’s mission is for the accessories to be treated as artworks or archival delicacies, hence the name Musée. Echoing department-store-style luxury resale destination The RealReal in Los Angeles, consultants tell shoppers more about the provenance of the item they are purchasing.

The store has what Studio 8 refers to as “soft boundaries”, avoiding the dividing lines of traditional categorisation. It comprises a central consignment area and VIP room, both of which are surrounded by moveable counters that can be reorganised for events such as trend lectures and member gatherings. This is a key tactic for brands looking to create cultural capital, and so increase brand relevance. See Brand Spaces: 10 Trends & Opportunities, 19/20) and the upcoming Redefining the Department Store (August 23).

The accessory displays are cross-brand and shown in glass cases and shelving units, replete with plaster busts rendered in bold colours – another visual cue riffing on the Musée name. All items remain the property of the owner until sold, with a percentage of the retail price being taken by Musée.

The resale market is growing 24 times faster than traditional retail (ThredUp, 2018) as consumers look for more ethical, sustainable consumption. For more on recommerce, see Pause & Pulsate (part of our Liquid Retail Spotlight series), the fashion-focused A Sustainable Journey, Powering the Brand of Self in our Dynamic Youth: Gen Z Spotlight and, for the lower-priced market, Budget Retail's Quality Drive