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Luxe Collective CEO Ben Gallagher on becoming ‘pre-loved luxury disruptors’ with new London pop-up

Over the weekend, pre-loved marketplace Luxe Collective is opening the doors to its first pop-up store in London, showcasing a raft of designer items from the likes of Gucci, Jacquemus and Fendi.

The space, open from 15 July 2023 – 9 August 2023, allows customers to buy and sell luxury items without the hassle of delivery and returns.

The decision to launch the pop-up space in London comes five years after Ben Gallagher, alongside his brother Joe, launched the pre-loved marketplace, which has since grown to a £7.5 million turnover firm thanks to the use of social media.

“No one uses social media in a business how we use it and that’s why we’ve disrupted this industry,” Gallagher tells InternetRetailing.

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On social media success

Since launching, the company has gained over 1.3 million TikTok followers and 363,000 Instagram followers, which Gallagher attributed the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown to its growth on the platforms.

“We teach people about the luxury industry, products, and news through our content,” Gallagher says.

“There’s a lot of our audience that won’t particularly be interested in the product that we’re selling, but they’re interested in the concept that we create.

“Someone’s always looking at like a luxury bag, even if it’s a fantasy search or even when customers get older and have more disposable income, they’ll always think of us first because we’re always on their feed.

“We’re always gonna be at the forefront of people who think about buying a luxury piece,” he adds.

“My company hates me because I don’t try to sell the products,” he jokes. “I just try to educate and entertain and give value to our videos.”

The pop-up follows 2022 being a pivotal year for the global luxury sector, with total revenues from sales across all segments totalling pre-pandemic levels.

The 2023 RetailX Global Luxury report revealed, as of last year, the market, covering fashion apparel, cosmetics, footwear, accessories, eyewear and leather goods – topped $312 billion (£241.6 billion), a level not seen since 2019.

On the opening of the new London pop-up store

This weekend, Luxe Collective is opening the doors to its first-ever pop-up store at 5 Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3LL, just meters away from luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

“The location was just a convenience,” he said, revealing the company had less than eight weeks to launch the store.

However, despite being in a prime location for luxury retail, Gallagher unveils some of the hurdles the brand has to face which include not being allowed to display Louis Vuitton in the window display of the pop-up store, despite the French fashion house being its bestseller, due to sharing the same landlord.

However, the pop-up includes other luxury brands including Jacquemus, Hermes, Chanel, Fendi and Telfar, amongst others.

“If we had more time, Soho or the Covent Garden area would have been the ideal location, but this area is just a quick way of testing some of our future plans”, he says, hinting at plans for a permanent store in the capital “depending on the success of this one”.

As a result, Gallagher claims the company has seen its selling price increase thanks to customers spending more, despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation in their day-to-day lives.

“I’m aware that some people don’t have access to luxury at all. Our videos give people access to the world of luxury without having to own anything,” he adds.

On competing with the likes of Ebay

“Whats different about us is that we are big with the Gen Z audience, meaning we stock the most up-to-date and trendy items,” Gallagher says.

Unlike other marketplaces, Gallagher reveals convenience is at the forefront of the company’s decisions.

“I am aware that we are not the best priced in terms of buying items off customers, however unlike others, like Ebay, who take the item from you, list the item on their platform and sell it whenever it sells.

“So, we might offer a little bit cheaper, but we still offer a very competitive rate,” he says.

Gallagher goes on to reveal, once an item is sold to a marketplace, on average that company will take between 15%-30%, resulting in customers receiving less bang for their buck.

“We are the alternative where if you want cash on the same day,” he concludes.

📍 The Luxe Collective pop-up store is open from 15 July 2023 – 3 August 2023 at 5 Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3LL

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The Global Luxury Sector Report analyses the growth in revenue terms in this dynamic sector after the downturn of the pandemic and, thanks to its embrace of technology, assesses how it is already cultivating the next generation of luxury shoppers.

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