The RealReal on Wednesday named John E. Koryl chief executive officer.
Previously an e-commerce and digital executive at the Canadian Tire Corp., Koryl will take over as CEO and join The RealReal’s board on Feb. 6. He held a previous executive role at Neiman Marcus, helping to modernize the retailer’s omnichannel experiences as president of stores and online of Neiman Marcus Direct. He is also a board member of Dubai-based holding company Al Tayer Group whose retail division, Al Tayer Insignia, hosts a portfolio of brands including Bloomingdale’s, Armani Outlet, Coach and the like.
In a statement, Koryl expressed his enthusiasm for joining the company, saying The RealReal has “significant opportunity to capture even more market share in the quickly evolving and fast-growing resale industry.” In this role, he will focus on “streamlining the company’s operations to improve overall client experience, achieve cost savings, and lead the company to profitability.”
His appointment comes at a time when resale darlings are chasing profitability, cutting costs (charging for clean-out kits in the case of ThredUp), changing the selling experience and no longer accepting some midpriced luxury brands (Theory, as a recent example) in the case of The RealReal. The RealReal also made a tune-up to its “Consignment Concierge” service with a frequent texting strategy by its acquisition team underscoring a push for home closet clean-outs as the company looks to localize sourcing.
Executive shifts look to be minimal, as the company’s co-interim CEOs, Rati Sahi Levesque and Robert Julian, will remain at The RealReal, with Levesque as president and chief operating officer and Julian as chief financial officer.
Still, challenges remain for the luxury consigner. As outlined in its financial reports, The RealReal has seen trials in the form of pandemic-led store closures, the pivot to virtual consignment, high number of returns post-holiday and high cost of acquisition. Per its 2021 financial report, the company reported net losses of $98.4 million in 2019, $175.8 million in 2020 and $236.1 million in 2021.
When The RealReal went public in late June 2019 at $20 a share, the stock soared 45 percent higher to close at $28.90 on its first day of trading. Fast-forward to its stock price in June, which was just $2.49. At news of the new CEO on Wednesday, the stock opened at $1.38, per Yahoo Finance data.
In a statement, The RealReal’s lead independent director Rob Krolik underscored the “important point in the company’s evolution,” which Koryl is poised to lead. “He has extensive experience as an e-commerce and omnichannel executive driving operational excellence and profitability. This experience, combined with his proven track record of successfully developing and growing online businesses, make him the right person to lead The RealReal.”