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Vestiaire Collective reveals why resale is booming

Launched in 2009, Vestiaire Collective is now the largest authenticated luxury resale platform in the world. At Drapers Digital Festival, Clara Chappaz, chief growth officer, revealed the reasons for the sector’s growth.

With 8 million members across 50 markets, resale is a booming sector. Chappaz said the luxury resale market is growing 21 times faster than the general luxury sector – and is anticipated to be worth €35bn (£30bn) by 2021.

“Resale has a huge opportunity in front of us that we only see as growing,” Chappaz says. “Others are starting to become aware about it. The market is becoming a normal part of what the fashion consumer can do.”

Chappaz noted that there are five key drivers behind the resale boom.

1. The professionalisation of the resale offer

Although 75% of second-hand sales still happen offline, online is growing faster than any other channel.

“It offers a much less fragmented experience to buyers,” says Chappaz. “On Vestiaire Collective you have access to 900,000 pieces in one go. There is broader product availability even on sold-out items.”

She said a more fluid customer experience enhances the proposition online, so that 45% of Vestiaire Collective’s customers prefer shopping online for second hand.

2. Changing consumer preferences

Chappaz noted that social media has fuelled a demand for individuality in dressing: “There is a rise in desire for unique looks and products. More and more today, customers want to create their own styles – ones that only they could find.”

She notes that consumers are also more interested in sustainability: 58% of buyers consider sustainability in their purchases.

Alongside this, Chappaz notes that we are seeing the end of the “traditional” ownership model: “Consumers are less and less fond of owning things. They want to invest in experiences. Consumers are also more conscious that they can finance new purchases from the money they earn by selling.”

3. Value for money

Chappaz noted that 71% of pre-owned buyers look towards items they could not afford new: “On average on Vestiaire Collective, you can save up to 70% on items, and this gives people access to brands they would not be able to buy in the store. We have seen that 62% of buyers have bought a brand for the first time second hand. It is a good ‘recruiting channel’ for retailers.”

4. The rise of social media

“There has never been such a high rate of new products, collections and drops,” said Chappaz. “People don’t want to wear the same product twice. They want to wear it once on Instagram and then resell through a platform like Vestiaire Collective.”

5. Community

“When we talk to our customers, what they like the most is that Vestiaire Collective is not like another shop – they can talk to the sellers,” said Chappaz. “This interaction goes way beyond the purchases. Fashion experts and lovers will comment on products with information. They really care about the products and want to share their passion. Buyer and seller interaction is at the core of what we do.”

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