Is resale’s consolidation phase well underway?
After Etsy nabbed Gen Z’s favorite secondhand site last year with the acquisition of Depop, now one of the sector’s rising forces is putting the hundreds of millions of dollars it’s raised to good use by aligning with a like-minded competitor and creating a stronger threat to tip-of-the-tongue names like The RealReal and Poshmark.
Paris-based Vestiaire Collective on Tuesday acquired fellow peer-to-peer luxury resale player Tradesy with plans to open an authentication center in the latter’s hometown of Los Angeles. Vestiaire CEO Maximilian Bittner, whose company was valued around $1.7 billion in September, described the tie-up as a “key milestone for the luxury fashion resale industry” that Coresight Research valued at $22.3 billion this year, up from just $1 billion in 2008. The acquisition, he added, further signals the company’s goal of “promoting circularity in Europe, the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.”
The deal combines two female-founded firms as both Fanny Moizant and Tracy DiNunzio respectively conceived of Vestiaire Collective and Tradesy back in 2009, when the Great Recession unleashed an industry focus on sustainable consumption. Both firms are focused on premium fashion, with Tradesy’s site touting Saint Laurent, Gucci and Loewe and Vestiare showcasing Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior and more.
Though Vestiaire has its roots in Europe, it’s largest market is now the U.S., where gross merchandise value, or GMV, has been growing at a 75 percent year-on-year clip since the beginning of the year. The B Corp‘s soon-to-open L.A. authentication center will mark its second in the U.S. and fifth worldwide.
Together, Vestiaire and Tradesy’s combined membership totals roughly 23 million with a 5-million-item catalog valued around $1 billion. This means shoppers will gain access to a broader range of pre-owned merchandise and sellers can reach more prospective purchasers in the U.S. and beyond. The two will also leverage each other’s strengths, with Vestiaire benefiting from Tradesy’s understanding of the U.S. market, and the acquiree gaining its new owner’s authentication expertise and global supply chops. Tradesy also offers price adjustment and free shipping unlike Vestiaire, which dangles more discounts and promotions.
A Los Angeles technology hub is also in the works.
Moizant said she’s “enthusiastic” about how the combined resale challenger will scale to advance the secondhand market and “accelerate the change in the way people consume fashion.” DiNunzio added that the acquisition will “significantly improve the experience of U.S. fashion customers.”
Moizant will continue as Vestiare’s president, and Bittner will remain its chief executive, while DiNunzio will become CEO of the combined U.S. operations. John Doerr, a Tradesy board member and shareholder, will become a minority shareholder in Vestiaire.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.