Secret Sales highlights attraction of non-full-price.
The increasing appeal of discounted fashion to cash-strapped shoppers can be seen in the support investors have given to premium non-full-price specialist Secret Sales as it announced it had raised a further $10 million to fund its expansion across Europe.
The company works with many leading fashion, sportswear and beauty brands to sell their excess and out-of-season stock on its online marketplace at significant price discounts. The likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Puma, Tom Ford and Versace as well as retailers including Asos all use the site to sell surplus stock and such has been its recent progress that it achieved 125% year-on-year growth of listed inventory to take it to 25 million items with a combined value of £3 billion as of February 2023.
The new funding will enable this positive trajectory to be accelerated across a planned 12 European territories and the initial markets of Belgium and the Netherlands have attracted over 1,100 new brands and £400 million in live inventory in less than a year.
Brands have historically had problems selling surplus goods through third-parties because they can lose control and this can therefore potentially damage their brands, but with Secret Sales the brand owners are given full control over their products online whereby pricing, visuals and also delivery are in-line with their values and reputations.
Working with Secret Sales is also enabling brand owners to deal positively with the rising issues of waste and sustainability, according to Chris Griffin, CEO of Secret Sales, who says: “The ongoing demand from brands and retailers looking for an upmarket, profitable and sustainable way to sell non-full-price inventory has accelerated and we are fast becoming the only real 360-degree solution.”
Off-price players have traditionally operated through physical stores where the ‘treasure hunt’ approach has worked well but the move to digital is gaining traction as evidenced by Secret Sales’ ongoing growth. In the US, Nordstrom’s discount Rack chain of physical stores has been delivering sluggish revenues of late and this is prompting it to put a greater focus on its online proposition.
Regardless of the channel shoppers purchase through the non-full-price marketplaces invariably prove to be strong acquisition vehicles for attracting new customers to brands. Younger shoppers with less disposable income are able to purchase brands for the first time at these discounted prices.