LONDON — Investors are increasingly putting their money behind resale platforms and the circular economy, and the more established brands and retailers are starting to pay attention.
Munich-based retailer Mytheresa is the latest to join the resale wave through a partnership with the luxury consignment platform Vestiaire Collective.
The two will begin rolling out a new resale service tomorrow, June 9. The initial phase is reserved for Mytheresa’s top clients who will be invited to sell their pre-loved luxury handbags online in exchange for Mytheresa store credit.
To elevate the experience and make it friction-free, the two companies have put in place a dedicated team to provide customers with personal assistance.
They are making the payment process faster, too, with instant price quotes. It’s a more attractive proposition for luxury shoppers than uploading items on their own with no guarantee of a sale. Clients then receive their store credit, as soon as their item has been shipped to Vestiaire’s facilities and authenticated by its team — before it has even been sold.
As the resale service becomes more elevated and competition stiffens, quick payment is fast becoming a crucial part of the equation. Earlier this month, new London-based start-up Twig introduced a new service where customers can receive a quote and cash out before even shipping their product.
The Mytheresa service is starting small, with Vestiaire taking on secondhand bags from a list of 20 luxury designers from the retailer’s customers in Europe. The service is for customers of the site, although the bags need not have been purchased from Mytheresa.
The aim is to start rolling out the service to a wider customer base, to more brands and new categories, including ready-to-wear, before the end of the year.
This is the first time a major online wholesale player has joined the resale movement and experimented with this type of business model.
In the past, Selfridges launched in-store pop-ups with Vestiaire Collective allowing customers to shop secondhand and drop off pre-loved items in the physical space, while Farfetch offers a Second Life resale service for handbags which are then sold on its own marketplace.
Michael Kliger, Mytheresa’s chief executive officer, said he sees “huge potential” in incorporating circularity in the company’s business model and extending it to new markets and categories in the next months.
Venturing into resale with a partner was key for Kliger, who wanted to ensure top-notch customer experience.
“Vestiaire Collective has an excellent infrastructure in place and great know-how in dealing with pre-loved luxury designer pieces. We are always mindful of offering the best experience and this partnership will ensure a smooth and seamless process for our customers,” said Kliger, adding the ambition is to continue offering one-on-one assistance and quick payment features, even as the service expands beyond top clients.
Mytheresa is also joining labels including McQueen and Mulberry, who have launched similar services with Vestiaire Collective, which received a $216m investment from Kering and Tiger Global early on in 2021.
That investment kickstarted a big wave of M&A activity in the sector. A few months later, the resale app Vinted also got a major cash injection, while Depop was sold to Etsy for $1.6 billion.
“We’re going to keep amplifying the voice of resale as a crucial part of achieving a more sustainable fashion system,” said Fanny Moizant, president and cofounder of Vestiaire Collective.
“And we’ll continue partnering and fighting side-by-side with brands and retailers, encouraging their customers to embrace circular fashion by reselling pieces they no longer wear.”