Last November, Lithuanian second-hand clothing app Vinted announced a bold strategic plan for Germany and its 8.5 million “Vinties.” It would gradually discontinue Mamikreisel and Kleiderkreisel, two separate versions of the mother app in the Fatherland, and merge them into the main app. It was an ambitious plan with massive risk attached in a second-hand market with a total volume approaching nine figures. Much was at stake for Vinted and its CEO Thomas Plantenga, who called it “brand suicide.” Some six months after we ran our original piece on OMR, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the story. OMR editor Martin Gardt joins me in this episode of the OMR Podcast International: Refocused, to take a look back at Vinted’s motivations for greenlighting the risky plan, what was at stake, if it paid off and if a complete revamp can make sense for smaller-scale entrepreneurs or if that would indeed be brand suicide.
Stories worth a second look
Since we started the OMR blog back in 2014, OMR has published original stories four days a week, every week. That’s nearly seven years and 1500 stories from the digital marketing cosmos that the OMR editorial team has researched, written and published. Sometimes the people, brands and companies portrayed failed to break through to the degree they—or us—had envisioned at the time, while others we happened to catch early on their rise to international fame and acclaim (looking at you Pamela Reif). Whatever the end result ends up being, once we publish an article the real story only then truly begins.
OMR Refocused is our shorter-form podcast revisiting the most compelling of those 1500 stories. Myself and a fellow OMR editor will dust off a previously published piece and discuss how the brands, companies and personalities behind the stories have since evolved and what the ramifications are moving forward. It’s on-brand and in-tune with our mission to bring you guys and gals the latest digital marketing news and insights from Europe and something we will do more of in the future.
A second look at the second-hand market
Since Martin Gardt and I published the piece on Vinted back in November, a lot has transpired on the second-hand market. Major players have been acquired by competitors (Brooklyn-based Etsy picked up London’s Depop (here’s our 2019 profile on Depop)), the entirety of the second-hand fashion market has been estimated to overtake traditional fashion by the end of the decade and the circular economy, where consumers are both buyer and supplier, has been estimated as a USD 5T opportunity.
With that kind of shakeup and volatility taking place right now on the market, Vinted presents us with an excellent jumping-off point to dive into the second-hand market. Today, Martin Gardt and I are checking in on how Vinted is doing (spoiler: well), breaking down the nuts and bolts of the November move, taking stock of some other competitors and discussing if smaller businesses can learn something from what Vinted did. It’s timely, bold, fascinating and a perfect Refocused story.
One down, 1499 to go.