Handmade and vintage specialist marketplace Etsy is looking to expand into the UK vintage and pre-loved fashion market with the acquisition of Depop.
The $1.6bn purchase of what Etsy says is “the 10th most visited shopping site for Gen Z consumer in the US” will see ‘mostly millennial’ retailer Etsy access a swath of Gen Z shoppers found on Depop’s app.
“We are simply thrilled to be adding Depop — what we believe to be the resale home for Gen Z consumers — to the Etsy family,” Etsy chief executive Josh Silverman said in a press statement. “Depop is a vibrant, two-sided marketplace with a passionate community, a highly-differentiated offering of unique items, and we believe significant potential to further scale.”
Depop was founded in 2011 to sell second-hand clothing via a mobile app and its revenues doubled in 2020 to $70m, with most of this income derived from sales commissions.
While Etsy will get access to Depop’s users, Depop itself will be able to draw on Etsy’s experience to scale internationally. “Many of the challenges that we are going through as a business are things that Etsy has gone through before,” Maria Raga, Depop’s chief executive, told The Financial Times. “Etsy has made massive improvements in terms of search and discovery, and this is something that we can definitely learn from.”
And it is a canny move. According to YouGov Profiles one in seven 18 to 25 year olds in the UK buys second-hand items between one and three times a month (14%) and more than a third say that they prefer to buy things second hand rather than new (35%). Nearly one in three 18 to 25 year olds say that they only buy clothes from sustainable brands (28%). This is almost 10-percentage-points higher than the rest of the UK (19%).