Kering Invests in Secondhand Luxury Site Amid Sustainability Push

TechnologyMar 04, 2021

Kering Invests in Secondhand Luxury Site Amid Sustainability Push

Vestiaire Collective sells pre-owned luxury goods from brands like Tiffany, Cartier, Rolex, and TAG Heuer.

Kering invested millions in pre-owned luxury site Vestiaire Collective, which sells authenticated designer clothing and accessories. (Image courtesy of Anete Lusina from Pexels)

Paris—Kering has made a multimillion-dollar investment in secondhand luxury site Vestiaire Collective as the conglomerate continues to emphasize sustainability in fashion.

The company behind brands like Gucci and Alexander McQueen teamed up with Tiger Global Management to provide $216 million in funding to the platform.

Founded in 2009, the pre-owned luxury platform allows users to buy and sell items on the site following an authentication process.

It stocks a variety of high-end brands, like Chanel and Prada, offering designer clothes and shoes as well as jewelry and watches.

Shoppers can find secondhand Tiffany & Co. and Cartier jewels as well as pre-owned Rolex and TAG Heuer watches.

By offering pre-owned items, Vestiaire Collective said it can extend the lifespan of pieces and help negate the environmental impact of overconsumption.

The company said its transaction volume more than doubled, while membership grew 90 percent year-over-year in 2020.

This investment will better position the site for future growth, Vestiaire Collective said, helping it to scale up its technology and data capabilities.

The platform will more than double the size of its technology team, creating 155 new positions, as it focuses on using artificial intelligence and leveraging data to improve the customer experience.

Following the investment, Kering holds about a 5 percent stake in the company and will be represented on Vestiaire Collective’s board of directors.

The pre-owned fashion sector has seen strong growth over the last three years, said Kering, and that has only accelerated during the pandemic.

Younger shoppers are driving the trend as their calls for sustainability grow louder.

RELATED CONTENT: In an Age of Purposeful Purchasing, Secondhand Diamonds Surge Ahead

“The resale sector as a whole is experiencing rapid growth, especially amongst millennial and Gen Z consumers, which will come to shape the retail landscape of the future,” said Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Vestiaire Collective, in a press release about the investment.

The number of secondhand pieces in people’s closets is predicted to grow from 21 percent in 2021 to 27 percent in 2023, said Kering.

The value of the secondhand sector could be worth more than $60 billion by 2025.

“Pre-owned luxury is now a real and deeply rooted trend, especially among younger customers,” said Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault in a statement.

“Rather than ignoring it, our wish is to seize this opportunity to enhance the value we offer our customers and influence the future of our industry towards more innovative and more sustainable practices.”

Kering recently placed seventh in the Corporate

Knights’ 2021 Global 100 Index, a benchmark for corporate sustainability, which measures factors like resource management and supplier performance.

The company ranked first in the clothing and accessory retail category for the fourth year in a row.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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