Pawnbroking chain Maxi-Cash has added pre-owned designer handbags to its growing collection, as the firm diversifies its offerings to woo young working adults.
The bags dovetail nicely with its existing collection of pre-owned watches and jewellery, and they now come under one umbrella known as LuxeStyle. Chief executive Ng Leok Cheng told The Straits Times yesterday: "We grouped these items together for a greater focus, and reorganised our people to have a group dedicated to handling LuxeStyle products.
"Existing players today only focus on one product, so we're trying to put them together and create a family shopping experience."
Pawnbroking chain MoneyMax is another player in the market for second-hand designer handbags, and it started dealing in them, along with accessories like wallets, last April.
LuxeStyle offers fashionistas more than 2,000 pre-owned items worth $6 million. They are carried in 13 Maxi-Cash stores now, with another six stores to do so by May.
Luxury watches from brands such as Panerai and Audemars Piguet start from $1,000, while bags start from $400, from brands like Coach and Chanel, for instance.
Maxi-Cash noted the average cost savings a shopper gets is at least 30 per cent. There is no doubt that demand for second-hand luxury goods is strong, said Mr Ng, which is why the Catalist-listed firm has invested in this area.
Maxi-Cash started selling such bags last December, and a few hundred were sold within a month.
Sales in the firm's retail and trading business in pre-owned items rose 40.7 per centfor the year to Dec 31, compared with the same period a year earlier.
Said Mr Ng: "In terms of revenue, the retailing of pre-owned items is already a lot bigger than the pawning side. In terms of earnings, we're hoping to see a half-half split from the two segments.
"If LuxeStyle takes off, we expect it to maybe even contribute more to the business."
Maxi-Cash is constantly dreaming up ways to attract new shoppers, just like how its jewellery line LeGold started bringing in products late last year to cater to different ethnic groups here.
With LuxeStyle, Mr Ng said: "We're trying to get a new customer base. If we can attract younger people and professionals, it's easier for us to convince their parents to buy such items as gifts.
"People like to buy pre-owned items for themselves but shun them as gifts. There's nothing wrong with giving these items - we offer quality products which are value for money."