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First look: Resale site Xupes opens first store

Luxury accessories resale site Xupes has opened its first bricks-and-mortar store, as part of co-founder Joe McKenzie’s plan to expand the 10-year-old business.

The 990 sq ft store at the Royal Exchange in the City of London is spread over two floors. The ground floor is dedicated to customer appointments and consultations.

It sells a selection of luxury pre-owned goods, including handbags, jewellery and watches. Retail prices for handbags currently range from £1,500 to £50,000, but vary depending on what is stocked at any one given time.

Xupes was founded by father and son Frank and Joe McKenzie in Bishop’s Stortford in 2009.

The retailer opened an office and by-appointment retail space in Amsterdam in July,  followed by a pop-up concession in Dutch department store De Bijenkorf’s Amsterdam flagship in August.

Joe McKenzie told Drapers: “We’re opening a [UK] shop for two reasons: first, to give clients the same offline experience that they would receive if they visited our showroom [at the Wheat Barn, Bishop’s Stortford] and second, to bolster our online proposition by building the brand.

“We’ve been looking for a space in London for nearly three years. The Royal Exchange is always somewhere that we had our eye on because the City is a target demographic for us – particularly for watches, but also for handbags and jewellery for women.”

Xupes’s neighbours include fellow luxury houses Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Watches of Switzerland, which McKenzie said “positions Xupes in a prime retail location and elevates its brand image”.

Andy Dunn, head of operations, added: “It was a huge step for us going from ecommerce to bricks and mortar, especially here in the City.

“Having a flagship store in the centre of London is really putting a face and voice to the business, and also to the retail sector. It’s the best place for us to shout about the brand, what we stand for and to try to change the perception of pre-owned.

“We ultimately want to become the ‘Net-a-Porter’ of pre-owned – it’s going to take a long time to establish, and to continue to educate people about pre-owned, but we’re positive and are moving forward in leaps and bounds.” 

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