Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Dreambaby, Colruyt Group's baby specialist, is today launching a second-hand service in 6 stores, making it the first Belgian baby retailer to venture into the combination of new and second-hand. The demand for second-hand items has been on the rise for years and the retailer intends to meet the needs of the changing market. Besides, Dreambaby wants to actively pursue its sustainability goals, and a second-hand offer fits in nicely. The service will be rolled out as a click & collect system, where customers can reserve second-hand items online and collect them in one of the 6 participating stores at a later time.
Growing second-hand market
The demand for second-hand items continues to grow and this trend seems to be irreversible. The second-hand principle makes consumers happier; it is both cheaper and better for the environment. Specifically for baby stuff, this trend is definitely on the rise. Market research by Colruyt Group in 2020 showed that 32 % of Belgians wanted to buy their baby items second-hand.Parents usually gather their baby supplies by combining new and second-hand: 55 % of the things are new, 45 % is second-hand1. These pre-owned items are either reused, received for free from family and friends or bought second-hand by the prospective parents. Parents of a first child actually buy about 14 % of the supplies second-hand. Therefore, it seems a logical step for Dreambaby to facilitate the sale of second-hand baby items. In this way, the retailer intends to remain a brand of today and tomorrow, while also being the first Belgian baby retailer to offer the combination of new and second-hand both in its physical stores and online (via click&collect).
Focus on customer convenience
In practice, Dreambaby will facilitate the reliable buying and selling of second-hand baby supplies. Selling customers make a sales appointment online and bring their second-hand stuff to a store. All brands are eligible, so also products that were not originally sold by Dreambaby. For hygiene and safety reasons, car seats, mattresses, baby clothes and heavy chests of drawers and wardrobes are not accepted. In a next step, the second-hand product will be checked by Dreambaby employees for visible defects and cleanliness and then photographed. Dreambaby will put the items up for sale online via tweedehands.dreambaby.be. The seller determines the selling price and, if necessary, Dreambaby can advise on this. Dreambaby charges a service fee for handling the sale. The customer only has to provide the product, and Dreambaby takes care of the rest. Ideal for parents who are too busy to take care of the sale themselves.
Dieter Struye, director of non-food at Colruyt Group adds: “We also work smartly with unsold products. Products that are not sold after 6 weeks are either offered at a lower price for 4 weeks, collected again or customers can donate to charity. For now, in French-speaking Belgium this will be the ‘Red Cross’, in Merksem ‘Moeders voor Moeders’, in Bree ‘PRAGT’ and in Ghent ‘Babynest’. We are still actively looking for additional charities so that we can support a local initiative with each store.”
On the other side, buyers can find the second-hand products of their choice on the website or in the store, reserve the item, pick it up at a retail outlet and pay there.
At the start of Dreambaby Second-hand, 6 stores will participate (Denderleeuw, Merksem, Ghent, Namur, Doornik and Bree). The service will be expanded once everything is properly rolled out. Dreambaby has acquired the expertise to manage this project from the former NewStory, which already sold second-hand baby and children's items within Colruyt Group. NewStory recorded a 90% sale of items within 6 weeks, a promising trend.
Sustainable entrepreneurship as a starting point
As part of Colruyt Group, Dreambaby actively increases its engagement towards society and presents concrete initiatives to make this come true. The brand wants to contribute to a world where small children can live long and healthy lives, and it does so, step by step. Dieter Struye: “The unique feature of the baby category is that these products facilitate the life of parents for only a limited period of time. That is precisely why we want to extend the life of products, by helping parents to buy or sell second-hand. In this way, parents help each other and together we make the world a little more beautiful. Customers have also indicated that they are open to second-hand offers and are even asking for them. That is why we want to contribute, step by step, together with our customers, to the circular handling of baby supplies.” Finally, for new items, Dreambaby also increasingly opts for items with an extra long life span or made from recycled materials. For example, for its own brand Dreambee, Dreambaby is actively committed to making baby clothes more sustainable and organic.
1Source: Colruyt Group market research for Dreambaby in 2021. N=2000