In Carquefou, nearby Nantes, the laboratory of the Once upon a time company is in turmoil. In this large 2,000 m2 building that has housed the company for a few months, children’s clothes are unpacked before being examined by employees, then photographed and stored. A huge stock of clothes, which will be put online very quickly on the thrift shop Once upon a timeto be resold later.
Because all these clothes for children from 0 to 16 years will find buyers very quickly. “But we are not a thrift shop”, wishes to specify Aude Viaud, director of C’erano multiple times, created at the end of 2016, and which has exploded since then. “At that time, there were platforms like The good angle, today there is also Vinted. But we didn’t find ourselves in these offers which were thrift shops, when we were really looking for quality. Because before being put up for sale on the Internet, the clothes are all examined by one of the 36 employees of the Loire-Atlantique company. These clothes must be as good as new.
“We have quadrupled our turnover”
“It’s second-hand, but second-hand flawless,” Aude Viaud points out. For the buyer it is therefore the certainty of finding quality products, which are checked one by one. Of all these products that Once upon a time recover, 30% are not put online because their condition is considered very bad. They are then sent back to a partner association, for recycling or to the seller himself. “On average, an individual sends us about thirty pieces. Go fast with the kids! “. The clothes are then resold at between – 50 and – 80% of the new price. Three quarters of these products are sold” in less than 10 days. “
The Once Upon a Time company is experiencing phenomenal growth. Today the company receives nearly 2,000 items a day! In one year, the second-hand clothing company grew from 12 to 36 employees. In 2021, over 250,000 items were sold through Once Upon a Time. “We quadrupled our turnover between 2020 and 2021. I think there is global ecological awareness. And then there is the Web, the shops were closed during the health emergency … People may have been a little more at home, they want to tidy up … It had a snowball effect. For us there was a before and after Covid. We took a big step in that moment ”, analyzes the leader of the Loire.
Goal: one million items sold
Another proof of its dynamism, the company has just concluded a fundraising of four million euros. “The goal is that our logistics, which works for 2,000 products, can work for 10,000. Today, it takes three minutes between receiving the package and storing it. It is very fast but we still have to accelerate. For this, the company will multiply its production lines.
With the opening of a test shop in Nantes, at the Galeries Lafayette, for a few weeks, it has repeatedly intended to show itself outside the sphere of the Internet. Aude Viaud is thinking about tests for opening stores elsewhere in France, for example with ephemeral stores. A project in sight, just like that of a future application. The projects are very numerous for the Loire-Atlantique company, which is experiencing tremendous growth. Objective: one million pieces sold in 2023. The second hand hand has a future.