Most recently a new streetwear destination has opened its doors in Frankfurt’s hidden Sandhofpassage. Completely painted in decent white, with silver curb chains as cloths rail holders, the small store carries not only carefully selected streetwear with brands like SILPA, HEATERS or Rough but also a in-store reselling corner with items from Nike, Supreme to name only a few. Even if the reselling area is not the heart of the store, as owner Aleks Kamberovic emphasizes, the synergy effects are enormous. Situated within the passage, the store does not benefit above all from casual customers, but from customers who visit the store in a targeted manner on the basis of the offer. To spread these as widely as possible, the trained retailer relies on the charisma of social media. Here Kamberovic tells us what this results in and what the concept looks like exactly.
When did you started The Place and what differs your concept from other stores?
Founded one year ago, we started with an only 25 square meter pilot store in Hanau, which was at the beginning limited to clothing and turned out as a big success. With an every second week constantly upgraded assortment of trending, as well as unknown German start-up or international brands, The Place offers one-of-a-kind treasures and an exclusive shopping experience. Despite the reselling, which is just an add-on; our main focus lies on our own clothing line The Place. With tailoring and a printing shop located in Hanau, the label stands for urban contemporary streetwear with a minimalistic design, from t-shirts with decent logo prints, hoodies to denim jackets in a higher medium price segment, starting from 40 Euro.
You've only been open since the beginning of April, yet: Who’s The Place customer and how often does he visit the store?
On an average three times a week. Already one week after the opening, there were approximately 20 people waiting outside the store, from all over Germany, who take the effort to drive to Frankfurt. But especially younger consumer and wealthy tourists from Asia or Italy come to visit.
Important part of the concept is the reselling in-store you offer. How would you explain the success and current boom of reselling online? And how does it work offline in the store?
In the USA the concept of professionally reselling is already popular established in many stores. The success, especially of rare collaboration sneakers, can be attributed to the kind of artificial produced exclusiveness through the publication of limited quantity, which is often false, whereby the danger of hasty and loss-making purchases rises. For this reason, our store serves as a secure intermediary between the private individual sellers and consumer, as well as an exhibitor of the daily new added sneakers or clothing items, which have to be brought and picked up by the private reseller, if it couldn’t be sold. Besides, customer are more and more considering the resale value during shopping, therefore they are willing to invest and purposely buying merchandise with the sole intent to resell it to make a profit.
What are the advantages of reselling in store?
I would say the unique selling point of “brick-and-mortar” retailers in general, in comparison to the shopping experience online, is the tangibility of the sneakers and clothing. We can proof and guarantee the authenticity in front of the customer itself and preserve them from buying over-priced fakes from suspect reseller online. So we want to offer a physical alternative to the overcrowded resale scene on the internet, rare in Germany.
How do you determine pricing?
Regarding our resale items we use the platform StockX, an online stock market where you can buy and sell deadstock Sneakers, Streetwear, Handbags and Watches from currently trending brands like Adidas, Yeezy or Retro Jordans, which analyzes the current price within the resell-market.
Among your own brand The Place you offer rare streetwear brands. What are your top criteria regarding the selection?
Mostly important for us is the design and presentation of the products through pictures on social media. They have to fit the concept and unique, minimalistic style of our own clothing line and already selected brands. Furthermore they have to pass my own kind of quality test, as I primarily wear and wash the items by myself to rate and proof them as high-quality and best-case include them in our assortment.
Which brands are recently added to the assortment?
For example Rough (worn by the owner itself) is a really liked brand at the moment, then also the garments from SILPA, denim pants from HEATERS, denim jackets and bombers from KOLLARCLOTHING or socks from the German label SNOCKS. But also already popular brands like Supreme.
Where did you get your main information or inspiration about the latest trends, hyped sneakers or brands?
Due to a lack of time, we couldn’t visit trade shows, but especially Instagram is a significant platform or I already get a preselection through lists from committed employees, with a special know-how and good connection within the fashion scene. Apart from that, it is very important to establish contact with the brands by email or in person and constantly keep in touch with them.
You also use Social Media to take advantage of synergy effects. Do you play mainly reselling content about it or what are you betting on?
We have a wide range with 5.444 Follower on Instagram, constantly increasing and which consists of a strong passionate and wealthy fanbase, who aren’t purely consumer. Therefore we try to constantly inform about new arrivals via social media, but avoid any price mark, which forces to visit our store and survey the rare offer in person. So only our own clothing line can be bought in our online shop. Besides that it was a conscious decision to choose a hidden location for the store, aside the main shopping streets, to ensure an exclusive shopping experience and avoid the attraction of walk-in customer as the main target group. In addition, as soon as there is a big demand on a special item, we minimize the amount of a new supply or we stop to restock them.
What are your plans for the future?
We want to expand within Germany and also abroad. Therefore, we already planned ten branches for the next year, which will be located in significant German cities like Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne or Munich. But in comparison to large fashion chains, there will only be one store per city to preserve the exclusiveness. For this reason the distribution of our own line should be only through concept stores. Also due to a strong demand, we want to sell garments positioned in an even more higher-price segment.