Kiabi betting on used clothes, the franchise

Kiabi, the women’s, men’s and children’s clothing chain, which ranks second in clothing in France after Intersport in 2021 (according to Kantar), but remains a leader in children’s clothing, is popularizing the opening of second-hand corners in its stores.

After the first critical test, launched in August 2020 at its store in Louvroil, near Maubeuge, the Mulliez Galaxy brand has doubled. It now has 48, including 34 in France, and the rest in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Portugal. It gives a new impulse. It provides for the opening of 75 new corners this year, the majority (60) in France. The goal is to generalize this range by the end of 2023 in all of its fleet in France, that is, 332 locations. Used clothes of all brands supplied by Batatam are sold there for 40-80% less than new clothes, with them restocked every week.

Alternative to Ventide

“We started from noticing that our customers were already very interested in used items. Kiabi is one of the best-selling brands on Vinted. So we wanted to offer them this offer within our stores,” explains François Held, Kiabi’s second-hand staff manager.

This service does not “break up” the sales of other departments in the stores where it is actually offered. The sites didn’t see a drop in sales “on the contrary,” says the latter. “Customers come to complete their purchases with used items,” he explains, emphasizing the “hybridization of consumption patterns.” François Held adds, “We have recruited new customers who have discovered Kiabi through hand shopping. On this occasion, most of them also bought new products.”

Shopping Coupons

The label is not satisfied with the physical trade of this new niche. It has developed a multi-channel strategy, launching a dedicated website at the beginning of the year where customers can sell or buy used products of all brands. The seller can choose to be paid in cash. But you can also pay in the form of vouchers at Kiabi, which then increase by 20%.

“The seller who sells clothes for 10 euros will be able to recover 12 Euro vouchers. The buyer, in this case, receives 2 euros in vouchers,” specifies François Held. The clothes are shipped via Mondial Relay Point Relais, and Kiabi acts as a trusted third-party guarantor for the transaction. For the launch of the site, shipping costs are currently and for the whole year 0.99 euros. “We already have More than a million items are for sale on the site,” says Kiabi Used Car Park Manager.

digital set

The last building block of this system, the “Kiabi Bag” digital assembly service began in France last September. It allows you to send a package of about fifteen used clothing to Patatam, again via Mondial Relay, for free by pasting a prepaid label on it, retrieved from the website. In return, the sender receives a €5 purchase voucher worth €25 in Kiabi.

For the announcement of this new service, the distribution of paid stickers in the store in the month of March received good reviews. “We have collected more than 53 tons of clothing,” notes the distributor, who will publish this service in its digital version internationally in Spain, Belgium and Portugal. “ The second hand responds to the new ways of consuming our customers, but also to the French in general and the Europeans, more broadly, comments François Held. Many brands try or have tried to use second-hand materials. “Among textile distributors, we are the most advanced,” he says.

The chain, which has 516 stores in 20 countries, had a turnover of 1.99 billion euros last year. It expects €3 million of this second-hand activity this year, excluding online sales. But for Maud Sarda, who runs online sales site Emmaüs, she said in an interview with Mind. She estimates that in ten years, the flea market will have outgrown the new ones.

The second hand: some generalize it and some stop it

Auchan, which also launched second-hand corners with Batatam last year, now has these corners in 115 of 117 supermarkets in France. To get closer to its northern clients, Batatam, based in the southwest, will set up its largest screening center in Cambrai, in the north.

Decathlon, another major second-hand company, offers these products in 9 out of 10 stores. These are mainly products from returns, especially since the sporting goods brand, also from the Mulliez Galaxy, offers testing of their products. Decathlon is currently considering digitizing this show.

A year ago, Pimkie launched a high-quality second-hand corner tester, Re-Love, offered by Eureka Fripes at a one-kilo sale. Sold in twenty stores, this other brand in the Mulliez Galaxy has reduced the wing to seven today, having not yet found the right model. Gemo has stopped completely.

Men are less keen on second-hand

Jules, the Mulliez Family Association (AFM) menswear chain, launched its Re-Wear division in February 2021. It had as many as 18 stores, but decided to ditch those corners. “We haven’t met our clients,” notes Aurélien Knoff, Jules’ Marketing Project Manager. In fact, 80% of second hand purchases online are made by women.

The brand, which has 250,000 Jules in Vinted, is considering working only on products from its own brand. Cyrillus or Petit Bateau created their own used site to sell used products only.

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