Second Equity Raise
Handbag Clinic launches second capital raise to drive sustainable business model
Following a successful equity capital raise via Crowdcube last year, we are now embarking on a second raise of £2 million to support our global expansion programme and evolution into the resale market, now widely recognised as the fastest growing business in fashion retail1.
The funds will be used to expand in four core business areas; brand building, inventory acquisition, streamlining systems and recruitment of personnel. The capital injection will also finance expansion into new geographic markets, identified via demand through our ecommerce platform.
Within the last four years alone, we have experienced rapid growth, rolling out a chain of owned stores across the UK, as well as franchises in Monaco and the Middle East and handling over £30 million worth of handbags. The business has become a leading light in the sector, rejuvenating around 600 bags per month. As the UK’s first omni-channel marketplace for restoration, authentication and luxury handbag resale, we have firmly cemented our reputation as a leading authority and early pioneer of the sustainability movement, with a string of high end B2B partnerships and relationships including Harrods.
With sustainability now a central concern of the cultural zeitgeist, never has there been more demand or relevance for businesses such as Handbag Clinic. According to the UN, fashion is responsible for 20 percent of global waste and 10 per cent of global waste emissions. Our pre-owned resale business enables consumers to continue to get their ‘newness’ fix without actually buying new whilst our restoration business significantly lengthens the lifespan of a product – boosting the burgeoning circular economy.
Since opening our first store on King’s Road, Chelsea in 2015, we have witnessed a seismic shift in the marketplace with demand for buying and selling pre-owned luxury handbags soaring to unprecedented heights as consumers are urged to rewire their tastes from must-have-now to will-love-forever. Having identified resale as a key area for growth, we are hoping to use this capital injection to acquire inventory, an area they have grown by 400% since 2018 with sales increasing proportionately.
Our co-founder, Ben Staerck, said: “Since completing our first raise last year, we’ve met and exceeded our 12-month target within the first six months and we hit our two year target by month 12. Never has there been such appetite for pre-owned luxury and our business model is uniquely positioned in that we can increase the value of a handbag by restoring it before reselling it, ensuring optimum return for sellers. The loudest noise in fashion right now is the sustainability movement and, with our scale, unrivaled craftsmanship and established reputation, we are primed to harness this and continue our rapid growth.”
Co-founder, Charlotte Staerck, added: “Pre-owned, or pre-loved as it’s been fondly renamed, has moved out of niche behaviour and into the mainstream. We live in an age of Instagram with consumers continually wanting to update their look – this has led to an even greater desire for more affordable options as well as a robust resale market. By reselling their preloved bags, an eco-conscious choice, they can do this guilt free. When you consider that the average woman amasses a haul of 111 handbags in her lifetime, that’s an unmined treasure trove and worthwhile side-hustle for women everywhere and we want to empower them to monetise this.”
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