Kiabi, the women’s, men’s and children’s clothing chain, number two in clothing in France behind Intersport in 2021 (according to Kantar), but still a leader in children’s clothing, generalizes the opening of used corners in its stores.
After a first crucial test, launched in August 2020 in its Louvroil store near Maubeuge, the sign of the Mulliez galaxy multiplied them. It now has 48, of which 34 in France, the rest in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Portugal. And gives a new boost. It allows for the opening of 75 new corners this year and a majority (60) in France. The goal is to generalize this radius by the end of 2023 in its entire fleet in France, ie. 332 localities. Used clothes of all brands, supplied by the company Patatam, are sold at 40 to 80% less than new, with replenishment every week.
An alternative to Vinted
“We took as our starting point the observation that our customers were already massively interested in second-hand goods. Kiabi is one of the best selling brands on Vinted. We would therefore like to offer them this offer inside our stores, ”explains François Hild, manager of used corners at Kiabi.
This service does not “cannibalize” sales in the other departments of the stores where it is already offered. The places have not experienced a decline in revenue, “on the contrary”, says the latter. “Customers come to complete their purchases with second-hand goods,” he explains, emphasizing “the hybridization of consumption patterns.” And, François Hild adds, “we have even recruited new customers who discovered Kiabi through second-hand purchases. On this occasion, most also bought new products.”
The sign is not content with physical trade for this new niche. It has developed an omni-channel strategy and launched a dedicated Secondhand.kiabi.com site earlier this year where customers can sell or buy used products of all brands. Seller can choose to be paid in cash. But you can also pay in vouchers at Kiabi, which then fills up 20%.
“The seller who sells a garment for 10 euros will be able to get 12 euros back in vouchers. In this case, the buyer receives 2 euros in vouchers”, clarifies François Hild. Clothes are sent via Mondial Relay Point Relais and Kiabi acts as a trusted third party guarantor for the transaction. To launch the site, the shipping cost is currently, and for the whole year, at 0.99 euros. “We already have more than a million items for sale on the site,” says the manager of used corners at Kiabi.
Last stone in this system, a digital collection service “Kiabi Bag” started in France in September last year. It allows you to send a package of about fifteen used clothes to Patatam, again via Mondial Relay, for free by putting a prepaid label on it, downloaded from the website. In return, the sender receives a voucher worth 5 euros on purchases of 25 euros in Kiabi.
To announce this new service, a store distribution operation in March with prepaid labels received good feedback. “We have collected more than 53 tons of clothing”, states the distributor, which will implement this service in its digital version internationally in Spain, Belgium and Portugal. “Second hand responds to the new ways of consuming with our customers, but also with the French in general and Europeans, more broadly,” comments François Hild. Many brands try or have tried used. “Among textile distributors, we are the most advanced,” he says.
The chain, which has 516 stores in 20 countries, achieved a turnover of 1.99 billion euros last year. It expects 3 million euros from this used activity this year, excluding online sales. But for Maud Sarda, who runs Emmaü’s online sales site, “using second-hand goods to continue selling new items under the guise of ecology is inconsistent,” she said in an interview with Mind. Retail. She estimates that in ten years’ time the second-hand market will have overtaken new ones.
Second hand: some generalize it, others stop it
Auchan, which also launched used corners with Patatam last year, now has them in 115 of its 117 hypermarkets in France. To get closer to its northern customers, Patatam, based in the southwest, will set up its largest sorting center in Cambrai, in the north.
Decathlon, another major player in second-hand products, offers them in 9 stores out of 10. These are essentially returnable products, especially as the sporting goods brand, also from the Mulliez Galaxy, offers to test their products. Decathlon is currently considering digitizing this offer.
A year ago, Pimkie had launched a quality used corner test, Re-Love, supplied by Eureka Fripes with a sale per. Having had them in twenty stores, this second brand in the Mulliez galaxy has reduced the wing to seven today, and has yet to find the right model. Gemo is completely stopped.
Men less wild with used
Jules, the menswear chain of the Mulliez Family Association (AFM), had launched a Re-Wear department in February 2021. It had them in up to 18 stores, but decided to abandon those corners. “We have not met our customers,” notes Aurélien Knoff, marketing project manager at Jules. In fact, 80% of online used purchases are made by women.
The brand, which has 250,000 Jules pieces at Vinted, is only considering working on products of its own brand. Cyrillus or Petit Bateau have created their used page that only sells their brands.