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Vestiaire Collective Ramps Up U.K. Business With Authentication Centre – WWD

LONDON – An increasing number of Britons are prioritizing sustainability and wanting to buy used fashion, but the hassles of Brexit and the need for complicated customs declarations when shipping products around Europe have dampened some. their efforts over the past year.

That’s why Vestiaire Collective is opening its doors to a new logistics and authentication hub in the UK today, to keep up with growing consumer demand for circular fashion – a third of fashion buyers in the UK He starts selling pre-loved items in advance in 2021, or plans to buy second-hand during the festive season, according to the company – and cut delivery times or higher delivery fees.

An ‘anti-Brexit experience’ is urgently needed, as like many fashion businesses, the resale platform has faced multiple cost spikes throughout 2021 as a result of Brexit and slowing lead times When items must be shipped to France headquarters for authentication. The company says things will get worse from this month, as customs declarations and full controls are already in place at the UK border.

“The focus of the Brexit negotiations is on import taxes, but what people are not talking about is the imposition of VAT. [value-added tax] about old goods. For Brits buying second-hand from Europe or a seller shipping their stuff to European buyers, the price will be 20% more expensive in just a few days,” said Max Bittner, chief executive of Vestiaire.

This means that at a time when Vestiaire’s business is thriving globally, its UK business is “absolutely stable”, with the UK from second place to two is the largest market in the field of reseller business up fifth. But according to Bittner, the UK is still a luxury market to be reckoned with so it is important for the business to reinvest to transform it into a local to local business, from a local business. to Europe.

“Prior to Brexit, a quarter of our UK sales took place domestically from UK buyers to sellers, and in the last year this has grown to three-quarters. Bittner adds:

With a local hub, businesses will now be able to authenticate items being sold locally in the UK, cutting their carbon footprint by up to 10x. Up to 50 specialist jobs will also be created to facilitate the process, meaning more than 1,000 items a day can be diverted from shipping to France for validation.

It’s a worthwhile investment as far as Bittner is concerned, who is optimistic that the increased demand shown by UK shoppers in second-hand fashion is bound to increase.

“We are still early in our journey. If you look at the auto industry, used cars make up 60 to 70% of all cars being sold, while in the used fashion sector it is still only a small part,” he added.

It is the business’s fourth hub, with other locations including France, the US and Hong Kong. It allows Vestiaire, which received a $216 million minority investment from Kering last year, to lead the game in an increasingly crowded resale market.

“We find ourselves quite unique compared to the existing resale universe. “We have a more luxurious product category and also a large trust component, developed through our brand partnerships with premium brands, retailers,” Bittner adds. retail like Mytheresa and Kering. “We see ourselves as a distinct player and also the only truly global player. The attention around resale is so interesting, we don’t see it as competition. Our competitors are not Depop or The Real Real, but direct fashion buyers. We want to shift people from quantity to quality and (encourage them) to buy used Sézane instead of old Asos or used Isabel Marant instead of used Sezane.”

The opening of a new warehouse in the UK is just the first in a series of strong growth investments for Vestiaire Collective, according to Bittner will change from geographic expansion, to technology and customer service.

https://wwd.com/sustainability/business/vestiaire-collective-ramps-up-u-k-business-with-local-authentication-center-1235028654/ Vestiaire Collective Ramps Up U.K. Business With Authentication Centre – WWD

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