Topshop


SYDNEY — Australian start-up Afterpay said Topshop’s Australian licensee would be rolling out its buy-now-pay-later service into nine physical stores.

Afterpay offers consumers the option to acquire merchandise immediately and pay for it in four fortnightly installments with no upfront fees or interest, paying retailers outright for products and then collecting payments from the consumer.

“Knowing we can offer our customer the opportunity to pay for the item while wearing it is a true win-win” said Topshop and Topman Australia chairman Hilton Seskin. “For our Millennial customer, the concept of instant gratification is key, and can now be satisfied through Afterpay, whilst providing them with the opportunity to purchase that must have item before it sells out.”

Founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 2014, Afterpay’s shares have tripled in value since it floated on the Australian Stock Exchange last May, closing Thursday at 3.05 Australian dollars or $2.34, up 2 percent.

Afterpay counts more than 140,000 customers and 600-plus individual retail brands, with the e-stores of fashion chains such as General Pants, Cue Clothing Co., Tony Bianco, Marcs and Hype DC accounting for 50 percent of sales, Afterpay cofounder and managing director Nick Molnar told WWD.

Molnar reports Afterpay is processing 150 million Australian dollars, or $115 million of annualized sales, through the platform.

The company claims a nonpayment rate of less than one percent, he said.

One hundred physical shop fronts are now live with the service as well, after Veronika Maine and Cue Clothing Co. — including the latter’s majority-owned Dion Lee brand — became the first retailers to offer the service in recent weeks.

“The objective was always to go off-line because lay-by [layaway] is the bane of every retailer’s existence,” Molnar said. “They don’t want to store the product, the customer experience is a mess and the finance reconciliation and administration is just diabolical. One of my retailers told me, ‘Lay-by is like visiting your clothing in jail.'”

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