Made.com is set to launch a new homewares marketplace as it looks to expand its offering outside of first-party sales.
The online furniture and homewares giant revealed amid its latest financial results yesterday that it has been beta testing a new marketplace model which would sell third-party brands for the first time.
According to Made’s chief executive Phillippe Chainieux, the retailer began testing the marketplace earlier this year and it is currently in the process of onboarding 70-80 independent brands and learning “how to manage the artisans”.
“The plan we present is to accelerate and accentuate our homewares proposition based on what we already have – sourcing internally, designing and developing our offer,” Chainieux continued.
“We believe there is a massive opportunity to aggregate around the Made.com brand another platform of the long tail design ecosystem in homewares.
“What is this? It is a lot of designers, makers, artisans, crafters who are doing incredible things and making incredible products which I’m sure our audience and our design-savvy customers would love to get access to.
“Secondly, all these sellers aren’t very digitally savvy and they don’t have the capacity to sell online, so it’s a win-win situation.”
“We started early this year, but it’s about learning how to manage the artisans – we’re going to have around 70 or 80 of them by the end of the year. By that time, we will make progress in how we manage that process, the onboarding, the stock etc. This year is very much about testing and learning in beta version.”
Made is following in the footsteps of big brands like M&S, which last year began selling third party brands on its own fashion website for the first time in its history amid efforts to modernise its offering.