The Coronavirus outbreak has hit the fashion sector especially hard with closed stores, slowed sales, and halted production. But as the industry rushes to restrategize for spring, luxury brands are scoping out opportunities via secondhand e-commerce.
Luxury resale platform Vestiaire Collective ($VESTIAIRECOLLECTIVE) said it raised $64.2 million in a funding round that closed this month. The European resale leader’s new investors include Korelya Capital, Vaultier7, and Cuir Invest, plus existing shareholders like Eurazero, Bpifrance, Vitruvian Partners, Luxury Tech Fund, and Condé Nast.
Consumers’ priorities are shifting with the pandemic. People are spending more time browsing shoes online, but want to spend as little as possible. Over the past month, Facebook mentions of Vestiaire have grown by 147%.
The company had its biggest sales day ever last week, as Business Of Fashion reports. Daily sales in Europe are 20% higher than they were pre-pandemic. Vestiaire told BoF that luxury brands have recently reached out to the company with partnership inquiries.
Luxury brands have been sending more products directly to resale companies in an effort to profit off of inventory that they weren’t able to sell in-store before closing. According to BoF, The RealReal’s ($NASDAQ:REAL) inventory from brands has grown 30 percent over the last six weeks, compared with the same period last year. The company also said it’s had an influx of inquiries from businesses looking to sell on the platform.
Our data indicates that Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Hermès have the most products this month. Hermès’ iconic silk scarf has been an especially sought after item, as people attempt to make their Coronavirus face coverings fashionable. The RealReal told GQ that searches for silk scarves have made up a larger proportion of overall searches since the beginning of March.
BoF also notes that competitor Fashionphile ($FASHIONPHILE) reported its biggest promotion-free sales day last week. In the past month, the company’s Facebook mentions have jumped 119%.
While these companies aren’t immune to Coronavirus’ economic impact, they’re learning to adapt. The RealReal closed some of its stores and a warehouse. Its stock is down over 40 percent this year. Shares hit a record low late last month, but have since bounced back.
Vestiaire Collective had to temporarily shut down its New York warehouse, but recently received state approval to continue operations in the US. As companies slowly return to business as usual, e-commerce resale luxury could be leading the way.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.