Feb 18, 2021
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Shift to marketplace platform sees Secret Sales growth soar in pandemic

Feb 18, 2021

We know digital retailer sales have been mostly stellar during the pandemic, but how about a 4,000% leap? That’s the month-on-month revenue rise online fashion and lifestyle retailer Secret Sales claims following its transition from discount flash sales operator to a premium platform model.

Image: Secret Sales

The business said over 18 million unique users have visited Secret Sales since it launched as a marketplace, with the platform gaining “hundreds of thousands of new customers”.

The company said 115 brands, retailers and multi-brand companies have partnered with the new marketplace to sell surplus inventory, taking the current number of individual brands shoppable on the website to over 450.

Superdry, Ted Baker, Jigsaw, GStar and Versace 19v69 are among the growing list of designer and high street names showcasing end-of-season stock, it said.
Meanwhile, the site "now offers over 66,000 product lines" across fashion, footwear, accessories, beauty and homeware.

“Retail is undergoing a revolution, and companies need an effective and profitable way to clear excess inventory without eroding sales in full-price channels or brand equity by selling to third-party retailers that aren’t concerned about brand positioning,” said CEO Chris Griffin. 

“Secret Sales was already a respected outlet name, but we pivoted the business to a more compelling marketplace model to align with current needs and prepare for the future of ecommerce. Our technology and marketing-led proposition drives growth, offering a cleaner, premium clearance strategy and the ability to reach a new customer base”.
Griffin noted that each brand “controls the look and feel” of its merchandise. “By owning product selection, pricing, images and copy, they can digitally connect supply chain and inventory systems to the plug and play platform and trade more efficiently, without the need to physically move stock to a third-party seller. 
Based on its current repeat purchase rate, Secret Sales forecasts that each shopper will return five times to make purchases in its first year of trading. A fifth of customers shopped twice in the first month, “which is four times the industry average”, it noted, while current average order value is £65. 
“We aim to disrupt the discount sector. Our model provides the answer to excess inventory and acts as a perfect extension of a fashion brand’s ecommerce operation,” Griffin added. 

“Imagine Bicester Village or similar shopping hubs brought to life online -- we’re the digital equivalent of designer outlet destinations and want to become the largest discount-only marketplace for premium fashion”.

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