Goodbyes is Australia’s largest bricks-and-mortar resale service and secondhand shopping experience. Its hybrid consignment model and curated in-store shopping experience have made it a go-to destination for economic and environmental shoppers who still want to be fashion-forward. Inside Retail spoke to Olivia Magnan, Goodbyes co-founder, about the year that was and the year ahead. Inside Retail: What are your expectations for the year ahead? Olivia Mangan: The landscape of fashion in Austr
in Australia and globally is witnessing a really remarkable shift,as secondhand is getting widespread acceptance. Throughout the last eight years in business, we’ve experienced this surge in customer demand. I think the surge in secondhand [shopping] is making significant strides in competing with traditional fashion retail, which is what we’re all about, trying to encourage people to shop secondhand over new. For us, that means more competition, as we’ve seen over the last eight years, but that actually is proving beneficial for us. The industry growth is helping to dismantle a stigma that we once faced when we first started the business. It’s an exciting time to be in the secondhand business. IR: Are there any major projects or initiatives in the works? OM: We’ve currently got six stores. But even with six, we’re proud to be the largest secondhand bricks-and-mortar retail service in Australia, and our plans are to achieve broad nationwide expansion in the next couple of years. What that means is a Goodbyes in every major city by the end of 2025, and then we’ll continue with our roadmap. We’re actually getting demand from people who are requesting us to open up across Australia, so that’s really motivating and giving me energy to continue expanding. IR: Are there any potential challenges on your radar for Goodbyes in 2024? OM: In terms of opening stores, yes, it’s our most significant challenge. This year and going forward has been [about] securing retail properties, so the right leases and the right spaces. We require reasonably large locations on busy main roads, which limits our options for these spaces, and we’re competing with quite large retailers, like pharmacies and other larger retailers. For example, we missed out on the ideal flagship store in Sydney. It was a funny situation where we didn’t really get a chance to negotiate – there’s a lack of opportunity for that. It’s a very covert industry, there’s not a lot of transparency. There are these very nuanced, strategic interactions with property agents – you don’t often get to speak to the landlord directly. We’ve been doing this for eight years, but it’s our biggest challenge because we are bricks-and-mortar and it’s so important where we land these stores. We have so much demand for Sydney, but we’ve got to get the location right. IR: What do you attribute the surge in popularity for consignment and secondhand goods to? OM: There are a few factors. I think the first one is value. Then there’s individualism, expressing your individuality, and then the last one is impact. Arguably, value might be the largest motivator behind secondhand purchases because when you’re shopping secondhand, you’re able to purchase a piece for a fraction of the original retail price. The other one is individualism, especially with social media and our exposure to relentless trends – global trends, micro-trends – and relentless targeted marketing from brands. I see our customers shopping with us as a way to express their uniqueness and experiment with their own sense of style beyond the influence of social media. And then of course, impact. Choosing to shop secondhand is just such an effective way to alleviate the industry’s terrible impacts on the environment. IR: Longer term, what’s your overarching vision for Goodbyes? Where would you like to see the brand in the next three to five years? OM: We’d like to be a household name, so when you think about clearing out your wardrobe, you think Goodbyes and you bring it to us. I just think that our business is inherently good for the community. It’s a revenue-sharing model, the community also makes money off it. I don’t think anyone’s doing it quite like us. The focus at the moment is Australia because the customer base is here and they’re asking for it. We’re sticking to bricks-and-mortar. That is what we know and love.