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business Podcast product Retail

Stadium Goods: Riding the sneaker culture boom

The success of Stadium Goods comes off the back of unprecedented consumer desire for sneakers and the need for a rich brand experience in which to buy them, says the platform’s co-founder and co-CEO, John McPheters, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

“For me the light bulb was that demand had never been higher. It was continuously growing, there were more and more people that wanted to buy our products, but there wasn’t a rich experience that consumers could go to to buy that stuff that was trusted, where they knew what they were getting, where they could really hang their hat on the brand experience and the presentation.” he explains.  

As a result he and his partner, Jed Stiller, set about creating a site that is focused on consignment – meaning it resells existing sneaker stock as well as broader streetwear – but it only does so with unworn and authentic styles. That focus on trust is the key, he says.  

Only launched in 2015, the site was acquired by ecommerce marketplace Farfetch in 2018 for $250 million. Very few emerging businesses have seen such rapid growth. It’s now considered such a market leader, it recently announced a partnership with auction house Sotheby’s to sell 100 of the rarest, most coveted sneakers ever produced.  

The site’s explosion aligns with the growth of sneaker culture worldwide. Expected to hit nearly $100bn in global sales by 2024, sneakers are outpacing much of the rest of the industry, including that of handbags. As a result, they have become the new ‘cash cow’ and awareness driver for all manner of brands, not least those in the luxury space, where such products are used as entry to otherwise more aspirational price points. 

In all parts of the market this has resulted in ‘cult’ or ‘it’ sneakers to own as a result. A rare pair of Nikes today can easily sell for as much as those from Gucci or Balenciaga as a result. This means it’s increasingly a race, with some limited edition styles going for $10,000 or more. 

Co-Founder & CEO, Current Global, Liz Bacelar and Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Stadium Goods, John McPheters

In this episode, recorded live at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum, we chat to founder John McPheters about the cultural relevance of such products, the evolving role of exclusivity and desire in luxury today, and just how what he’s doing is really about teaching the industry to give up control.

Listen here: Entale | Spotify |  Apple Podcasts | Android Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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e-commerce Editor's pick Retail sustainability

3 ways brands are experimenting with the resale market

From partnering with resale websites to facilitating consignment selling, brands are increasingly exploring ways to be more involved with their products as they continue through their lifecycles.

Part exercise in brand control and part push for more sustainable consumer habits, the move is of course also an enormous opportunity for extended revenue streams.

The secondhand market is projected to double in value over the next five years, skyrocketing from $24bn to $51bn, according to a report from resale site, thredUP.

We’re also seeing heavy investment in the resale space as a result. Foot Locker just put in $100m into GOAT, while Farfetch recently acquired Stadium Goods for $250 million. There’s also a round of funding coming up for sneaker marketplace StockX, which will turn the company into the first sneaker reseller valued at $1bn, according to Recode.

Here are three ways brands are otherwise experimenting with and promoting the resale market:

1. PARTNERING WITH RESALE WEBSITES

Starting this April, & Other Stories started selling pre-owned garments. The project was created in partnership with second-hand platform Sellpy, which manages and operates its sales. When clicking on the new “pre-loved” section on the & Other Stories’ website, clients are redirected to sellpy.se. For now, the service is only available in Sweden.

“We’re exploring different ideas on how our long-lasting designs can find their way to new owners. With that in mind, we decided to do a small second-hand test project with Sellpy,” explained Sanna Lindberg, managing director of & Other Stories.

Stella McCartney made history last year as the first luxury brand to promote the consignment of its products on The RealReal. Anyone selling Stella McCartney products on the platform receives a $100 voucher valid at any of the brand’s stores or via its website.

2. DRIVING RESALE SELLING AND BUYING THROUGH STORES

Neiman Marcus recently invested in Fashionphile, a high-end consignment boutique. It has plans to have Fashionphile drop-off locations inside select stores, allowing shoppers to get paid right away for their pre-owned items. For now, Fashionphile is offering an increased buyout price for those who opt to receive payment as a credit at Neiman Marcus.

Meanwhile, just last month, Galeries Lafayette introduced a second-hand fashion platform called Le Good Dressing, which combines online shopping with an in-store experience. Vendors on the site sell products and then drop them off in the store, where buyers can come in to get their purchases – with no commission charged.  Sellers also receive a voucher that can be redeemed at any Galeries Lafayette store or its online shop. Attracting both buyers and sellers into the store, this initiative translates into a host of new sales opportunities.

Added to the list is the new Levi’s flagship in New York City’s Times Square, which has a section dedicated to selling pre-owned garments. Here, it’s possible to find not only newer styles, but also refurbished items from past decades, going as far back as the 1930s and 1940s.

3. FACILITATING THE CONSIGNMENT ITSELF

West coast brand, Reformation, is the first brand to partner with resale website thredUp on a project called UPcycle. When customers shop on the Reformation website throughout May 2019, they all automatically receive an UPcycle kit in their orders. These kits enable customers to shop the clothes they want to consign to thredUP, taking away the hassle of sorting out the inventory to do so.

But that’s not all, when a customer decides to consign any product from any brand via thredUp, they also have the option to get paid with a gift card for Reformation. This is a way to create more circularity, while also promoting Reformation’s brand. ThredUp expects to establish similar partnerships with 10 more companies this year.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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sustainability

The RealReal measures environmental impact with new sustainability calculator

The RealReal

Luxury consignment company, The RealReal, has created a Sustainability Calculator that estimates the company has saved 65 million car miles and energy since it launched in 2012.

The calculator collected data from 2.5 million womenswear items that were consigned on the website, quantifying the positive savings of greenhouse gas (GHG), energy and water that giving clothing second life will have on the planet.

“Consigning is good for the environment, and I am thrilled we have developed a valid and quantifiable way for our customers to measure the positive impact their consignment has on the planet. It takes my breath away that people consigning apparel alone have made such a tremendous impact — the equivalent of 340,000 trees planted,” says The RealReal’s founder, Julie Wainwright.

To create the tool, The RealReal worked with Oregon based sustainable consultancy agency, Shift Advantage, as well as experts from the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

With the help of its partners, the company created a methodology that measured four key metrics to estimate the planetary impact. These include:

  • Impact by Material: Energy, greenhouse gas and water consumption were estimated based on global averages for each material type. The RealReal does not own the manufacturing process of its goods.
  • Item Archetypes: The most common women’s clothing types were used to develop four archetypes for calculation: dresses, tops, jackets and knitwear.
  • Fabric Composites: The RealReal defragmented the inventory mix into the most common item-fabric combinations (i.e. silk, cotton, polyester, viscose, wool and linen).
  • Product Type Composites: Since every item consigned is unique, The RealReal used sample weights to develop average weight measures for each archetype fabrication group.

The consignment retailer is not the first to launch a sustainability calculator. In 2016 Kering partnered with Parsons School of Design in New York to create an Environmental Profit and Loss app (EP&L) to measure the impact of student’s creations.

How are you thinking about textile innovation and sustainability? We’re all about helping you build strategic integrations. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.