Videdressing wants double-digit growth, to expand outside France in 2018
Last spring, eight-year-old French second-hand fashion website Videdressing raised €5.4 million in fresh capital as it embarked on a new market strategy. Mathieu Dubech, its Marketplace Director, talked to FashionNetwork.com during the BigBoss Mode et Beauté event last week in Paris about the website's new positioning, the technology changes it introduced and its international ambitions (the full interview appears on FashionNetwork Premium).
FashionNetwork.com: How has Videdressing's positioning changed since its launch?
Mathieu Dubech: We transitioned from a fashion magazine orientation to one focusing on responsible, considerate fashion, with a mindset strongly reliant on technology. We went in the opposite direction from our competitors, which are more into editorial content and rely hugely on fashion influencers. Our mission today is to offer a smooth, hassle-free experience from start to finish to our users. We want our sellers to be able to put their products up for sale very easily and quickly.
On the buyers' side, we continue to play the role of trusted intermediary, and are the only website to offer a 'money-back' guarantee. We promote directional products that are accessible in terms of style and price. We feature mass-market, mid-range and luxury labels. Our goal is to boost purchasing power thanks to a 15% commission, lower than our competitors, with a €300 ceiling rate, while commissions for some of our competitors can be as high as 50%. Since we began in 2009, we have distributed more than €100 million to our sellers. On luxury products, which are rarely priced down, we allowed buyers to make savings of €20 million in 2016. And new products with original labels make up 25% of our catalogue.
FNW: It wasn't always like this. Why did you change your market positioning?
MD: The whole 'detox fashion' movement is getting bigger. In the past, consumers used to buy heaps of products which mostly ended up at the bottom of their wardrobes. Now, we are keen to speak up for sustainability and waste reduction. On average, 26lbs of garments per person get discarded every year, not a negligible amount. Videdressing wants to give a new lease of life to these clothes. As part of this effort, we recently launched a collaboration with illustrator Margaux Motin, who designed a bio cotton T-shirt embroidered in France. The proceeds from the sales are going to the GoodPlanet-Domaine de Longchamp foundation, active in environmental protection.
FNW: What role do luxury labels currently play in your catalogue and sales?
MD: We launched with the slogan 'From Zara to Prada'. We banged the drum for luxury labels heavily in 2014 and 2015, but we want to appeal to everyone, not just to an elite. Nowadays, our strength is being able to offer all kinds of labels, with mid-range brands notably our main asset. Our competitors are positioned either at the bottom end of the range, or at its very top end. Half of our revenue comes from luxury products, this is why it is important they are guaranteed 100% authentic, thanks to our legal team which monitors incoming products. But half of our catalogue consists of brands with a much wider appeal, such as Zara, Minelli, H&M, Nike, etc.
FNW: What are your growth objectives?
MD: In 2016, our revenue was nearly €34 million. This year, we're planning on double-digit growth. For the time being we are strongly focused on the French market. But we are planning to expand our business internationally in 2018. The website is already available in four languages: French, English, Italian and German. Thanks to a remarkable unaided brand awareness, we generate 85%-90% of our revenue in France. We know we have strong growth potential outside France, where we will deploy fully once we are able to reduce shipping costs, since the majority of our products comes from France, and to set up local payment facilities.
The full interview with Mathieu Dubech is available on FashionNetwork Premium.
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