Designer mystery boxes are catching the eyes of Gen Z shoppers

Gen Z shoppers are increasingly purchasing luxury “mystery boxes” from designer brands and the industry is hoping it could solve the unsold stock issue.

There has been an increase in the number of upstarts that offer the mystery boxes, brands such as Heat, Scarce and Hybe are all offering boxes for heavily discounted prices when compared to the individual cost of the items inside.

The concept is relatively simple, shoppers purchase a box once they’ve “dropped” online and receive a box of luxury designer items inside.

Heat’s boxes start at £299 and upwards however the contents are worth much more.

A £299 box will get the consumer a box with a retail value of over £500, including items from labels including Yves Saint Laurent, Celine and Balenciaga.

One of Heat’s £500 boxes will give the shopper items worth over £850.

“I received a Palm Angels logo hoodie worth £500,” mystery box buyer Beth Froggatt, 27,  told the Financial Times.

Froggatt, who liked three of the things she received in her box from Heat added: “To shop designer brands for less is a huge selling point for me.”

The stock that makes up the mystery boxes comes from stock that would otherwise end up in landfill or shopping outlets.

Leftover stock and waste is a huge problem for the fashion industry, with retail giant H&M sitting on £3.4 billion of leftover merchandise as of April last year.

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Mystery boxes offer a popular alternative to throwing mountains of stock in landfill however some luxury brands are reluctant to offer them as slashing sales affects brand image.

This leads to brands preferring to destroy their unsold stock instead of devaluing it.

Scarce co-founder Jacob Metzger, 34, told the Financial Times: “The fashion industry is extremely wasteful.”

“We wanted to prevent this old inventory from going to landfill or sitting in a warehouse.

“We wanted to give it a second life.”

It was a similar case for Heat co-founder Joe Wilkinson who wanted to find a way of getting the headstock inventory to the consumer.

Wilkinson capitalised on the trend of “unboxing” videos which are popular on Youtube whereby influencers open boxed items and show them off on camera.

Heat launched last November and in that time it says it has sold more than 16,000 boxes, generating sales of over £6 million.

Wilkinson added: “It’s the stuff brands usually keep off the sale rails.”

“The carry-over pieces that are just slightly updated each season. Brands don’t want them to end up in an outlet because it devalues the product for seasons to come.”

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