Fashion marketplace Secret Sales has launched a fulfilment service to help brands distribute their goods in the UK. Brands say they are using the service in order to overcome trade barriers erected in the wake of Brexit. The UK EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect in January 2020, introduced both new administration and tariffs related to rules of origin for the first time when the UK left the European single market and customs union.
Fulfilment by Secret Sales (FBSS) is designed to enable brands without a local warehouse in the UK, or who cannot ship from continental Europe in a timely, profitable way. Brands and retailers using the service ship goods in bulk to Secret Sales’ UK warehouse, which then handles picking, packing and direct-to-consumer shipping via 24 or 48 hour tracked services, as well as returns. Brands pay a small monthly management fee, as well as a per parcel pick, pack and ship rate.
Chris Griffin, chief executive of Secret Sales, says: “Our premium ecommerce marketplace model, with digitally connected inventory and brand to consumer shipping is by far the most efficient, sustainable and profitable way for brands and retailers to trade non full price inventory, however we understand the challenges faced by a number of brands unable to fulfil the last piece of the puzzle if their stock is based in continental Europe or Brexit regulations are making selling directly to UK consumers prohibitively expensive. We are simply adding a convenient option that looks after the final step, helping those brands to fulfil orders on the Secret Sales platform.”
Versace 19v69 and jewellery brand Azro Silver are among those currently signed up to the service. Matteo Armillotta, chief executive of In Moda, global distributor of Versace 19v69, says: ”We were excited to launch with Secret Sales in Europe, however we were unable to operate on the UK platform due to the high costs of distributing post-Brexit. Secret Sales’ FBSS model has enabled us to expand into the UK. The fulfilment service was easy to set up with incredibly competitive pricing. We are delighted with the platform and will launch in the coming days.”
Gokmen Gunduz, who founded Azro Silver, says: “The Secret Sales fulfilment model has allowed us to launch on Secret Sales in the UK. It is the most cost-effective distribution model we have come across for this market post-Brexit. The Secret Sales team have been phenomenal in helping to get this set up, taking just a few weeks from signing to launch.”
Secret Sales says the new fulfilment service also opens up a direct-to-consumer opportunity for brands currently selling wholesale only in the UK.
“Ultimately, all of our fashion, beauty and homeware partners have the same Secret Sales experience,” says Secret Sales’ Griffin. “They clear non full price inventory efficiently in a brand-enhancing, upmarket environment, and can gain thousands of new full-price gateway customers each month through our unique GDPR-compliant data share program.”
Secret Sales is based in the UK with operations in the Netherlands and Belgium, and plans to launch in 12 more European countries over the next two years. It aims in due course to roll out a fulfilment service in each country it trades in, to solve similar challenges.