Monthly Retail Round-Up — October 2019

Photo: Kishor on Unsplash

With retailers increasingly supporting a circular economy, October’s main stories were all about the resale and rental markets. Here is a round-up of retailers that have moved into this space this month.

1) The Growing Resale Market

Research published by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, reported in Fashion United, stated that “it is estimated that more than $500bn of value is lost every year due to clothing not being utilised or recycled effectively, with some garments in the US discarded after just seven to 10 wears.” This is why the importance of resale is getting more and more apparent and there are many retailers this October who have endorsed the concept:

  • Burberry

Reported in Fashion United, “Burberry is joining forces with The RealReal to promote a sustainable future for fashion”.

The RealReal is a luxury marketplace designed to encourage customers to extend the life cycle of luxury goods, through resale. They do this by offering customers an exclusive Burberry personal shopping experience if they consign Burberry pieces to them.

The RealReal believes that “the future of fashion is circular” and the partnership with Burberry will support this. Pam Batty, VP of Corporate Responsibility, Burberry said in a statement, “The RealReal shares our ambition to promote the circular economy and keep clothing in use for longer. We know that the enduring quality of Burberry pieces means their appeal and value is long-lasting. Through this new partnership we hope to not only champion a more circular future but encourage consumers to consider all the options available to them when they’re looking to refresh their wardrobes.”

  • Selfridges

Vogue Business reported that “Selfridges London will host Vestiaire Collective’s first permanent concession for customers to buy and sell luxury goods.”

Vestiaire Collective is a luxury resale platform that Selfridges have turned into a physical space for customers to buy rare vintage pieces and sell pre-owned luxury goods.

  • Farfetch

Farfetch has partnered with resale and clothing donation service Thrift+. Joe Metcalfe, Founder, Thrift+ outlined that “Thrift+ was founded with the mission of bringing charity shops online” (Retail Week).

So, how does the platform work? Reported in Retail Week, **“Farfetch customers will be able to request a ‘Thrift+ x Farfetch’ donation bag online and select a charity from any of the 160,000 registered in the UK. When the collection bag arrives, customers can fill it up with their unwanted clothes and accessories then either book a free collection service or take it to a local drop-off point. When the bag is received, each item is photographed and listed for sale on the Thrift+ website. When an item sells, a third of the proceeds is given to the customer in Farfetch credits, a third is donated to their chosen charity and the remaining third is kept by Thrift+ to cover costs.”

In May, Farfetch launched a new resale initiative called Second Life and Thrift+ has developed as a ‘natural extension’.

Reported in Vogue Business, “secondhand luxury is growing four times faster than the primary luxury market, with expected global revenues of $36bn by 2021” and therefore it is becoming a primary focus for these brands.

2) H&M Follows Suit with a New Rental Service

There are many new business models that are now looking to support the circular fashion economy. As mentioned above, resale platforms are becoming increasingly popular however rental services for high street retailers seem to be favoured.

In May, URBN launched a women’s apparel subscription rental service and H&M is following suit with another rental service. Reported in Fashion United, “H&M is launching its first clothing rental service”.

Customers will be able to talk to stylists in the new rental space who will help them select pieces. These pieces can be rented for up to a week and up to 3 pieces can be rented at any one time, costing only £28. The pieces will include party dresses and skirts from H&M’s 2012–2019 Conscious Exclusives collection which are all made from sustainable materials.

Reported in Fashion United, the store “will also offer an atelier for repair services to further encourage customers to reuse and recycle.”

We hope you enjoyed the round-up. Please feel free to get in touch with any stories you feel would be of interest.

Dressipi is the world’s only Fashion Prediction Platform, enabling retailers to predict what their customers will buy and not return, optimising profitability and giving customers the best possible experience. Our data-driven approach helps drive significant new revenues for retailers (a minimum of 8% increase in net incremental revenue per visitor), decrease returns (by 15%) and increase conversion and frequency of purchase (by up to 30%).

Our unique database of over 5 million connectable fashion customers combined with fashion specific AI, expert knowledge and proprietary structured product data means retailers can be more profitable, more customer centric and more efficient.


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