From URL to IRL: Why DePOP’s L.A store opening matters

The app is opening its first store, with more to come in New York, Milan, and London.

in brief

Going beyond its historic mobile ecosystem, marketplace DePOP is coming to the material world, announcing a potential reinvention of the retail space powered by a heterogeneous community and the current booming of the grey market.

As traditional retail is in turmoil, facing an uncertain destiny between its apocalypse or its renaissance, with store closures, sinking sales, and bankruptcies ; the secondhand market is thriving. Indeed, shoppers spent $18 billion on secondhand clothes in 2016, and the sector is expected to hit $33 billion by 2021.

One of these promising marketplaces and m-commerce platforms in this space is DePOP, a British app founded by co-founder of PIG magazine and RETROSUPERFUTURE sunglasses, Simon Beckerman. Originally a social network where PIG’s readers could buy items featured in the magazine, the app was re-envisioned by its founder to become a global marketplace — a mobile space where you can see what your friends and the people you’re inspired by are liking, buying, and selling. Dubbed as “a thrift-shopping oasis for millennials” by Vogue two years ago, the app isn’t seen by its founder as a resale destination, but as a marketplace for “everything that is unique and creative”.

” Inside Depop you can find stylists, designers, artists, shops, collectors, vintage sellers, wardrobe hoarders, sneakerheads, and many more. Our community ranges from the most inspiring creatives to the up-and coming influencers in fashion, design, art and music. ” DePOP’s website official statement

Photo: DePOP’s official website

Having recently hit 9 million users, with about 60,000 items listed per day, the app reached the $230 million mark in 2017, with a 130 percent increase in revenue in its US market. Part of its success? According to Beckerman, its similarity to Instagram, Fashion’s most beloved platform:

“The fact that it looks and feels like Instagram is a big plus. People come on and they instantly know how to use it.” Simon Beckerman, DePOP founder

Photo: DePOP

Following the same strategic pattern of companies such as The Real Real, Tradesy, ThredUp, and Poshmark — all digital startups that make shopping for secondhand online easy and enticing – opening stores is the natural next step for this sector. As a result, Depop has opened its first store in Los Angeles last week, in the Silverlake neighborhood, with a second location opening in New York City later this spring. As Depop founder Simon Beckerman told Racked, the company will also soon be opening a store in London and is looking into Milan for 2019. The company is also eyeing other locations where Depop has seen lots of user growth in the US, like Austin, Houston, and Chicago.

Photo: DePOP

With a previous experience coming from its New York location in Chinatown on Mott Street (dedicated to hosting regular events, exhibitions, an open photo studio and also to offer a chance to its community of creatives to gather and meet the people behind the shops), the announcement isn’t DePOP’s first attempt to manifest itself IRL. However, we expect the move to go beyond the traditional retail mechanic, offering a space where the m-commerce app might gather and leverage its community of creatives and sellers to propose a new kind of relationship that goes beyond the transactional aspect of a classic retail location.

For additional details, be sure to read the full story on Racked.

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