We had a great conversation with two amazing entreprenerus from retail sector, Lourdes ferrer from Percentil and Jaime Garrastazu from Pompeii.
Let’s start from Lourdes. Percentil is a second-hand clothing sales website. Founded three years ago by Daniel Bezares, Lourdes Ferrer and Luis Ongil, Percentil.com is also present in Germany and France.
Have your service suffered? How your clinets reacted?
Answer: At one point we stopped having access to the product, because it arrives from different countries and it involves two type of clients, buyers and sellers.
We tried to be very transparent and communicate a lot to our clients in a very honest way regarding everything that was going on. We even fall into a “too honest” way. We did not know how the client was going to act, so we wanted to be very clear and honest. They were very charming and sending us positive messages, even offering themselves to send their second hand clothes free, without getting any money to help the company. Our team got pumped up thanks to seeing this.
On every order, we even added a letter with a telephone number so they could call us for any matter they had (psychological)…
During last years we´ve noticed a rapid rise in tendency in a circular economy and second hand clothing, how do you think that this crisis will help advancing the process? Could you give us 3 insights?
Answer: Yes, no doubts about it. Shopping intent when we started Percentil was around 15% and nowadays is 55%. Every time consumer asks for traceability and knowing where it comes form.
Environmental impact is key, so with this crisis, economic consequences will make buyers buy less and with our prices at 80% cheaper than a normal store will definitely help the service. This crisis is also helping to think about how fast we are leaving, if we need things we have, if we need less, so that can help circular economy
Right now, where many big companies are going to stay with a giant stock of products that they should have sold, the circular economy like yours is very important. How are you dealing with this from an operations and logistics point of view for turning this opportunity into reality?
Answer: To be honest, at the moment, we are being short term minded, we are taking care of our employees, our clients and overall, trying to survive, so even it is clear the fashion industry has improved and has helped reduce stock, and now there are less stock left, for sure we will be there to help all these companies move their stock around and have a positive impact in environment.
Our second guest was Jaime, one of the four young co-founders of Pompeii shoes.
Recovery plan, a survival plan or a disruption plan? What would you recommend to the companies that have been most affected by this situation?
Answer: Well, I honestly think they are complentary. To be able to innovate or disrupt, the base needs to be adequate in order to start disruption, when we faced all this, we went through a surviving plan in order to be able to innovate.
We are 28 years old, who have never experienced a crisis before, and we are guiding ouselfs with intuition and what we are looking from the outside in order to build the base to survive annd then innovate. Mixing both things, I think everycompany needs to adjust to the crisus rythm in order to take the best decisions at every step. If we tried to innovate when we had to survive, we would have fail, so the key is to adjust to the rythm of every step.Companies need to measure what intensity needs to be given to every sprint. If you compare it to a relationship when you are in crisis, the most important thing is not to be happy, but understand where that crisus comes from so you can fix it later.
As can be seen in all your communications, Pompeii has always radiated naturalness and transparency. Let’s talk about this naturalness, does it work or does it just come from the essence of entrepreneurs? What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to work that part of proximity with the consumer?
Answer: What we have always tried is to tell thing how we see it. We try to talk from the truth, and i think when brands start to get away from their truth they start becoming something more artificial or less tangible. The best way to confront this crisis was to tell people how we were feeling. The reason we do things how we do it, is becasue when we started pompeii we didnt know what we were doing, so telling everything from the truth empowers what you are telling. Maybe is not positive, but at least comes from the truth. So we have always told things from a naive perspective, so best advice is to speak form the truth. There is no sense in speaking from other than the truth.
A part from the truth, there is also need to take care of the way you speak it and the format. I think that from now onbrands that do not jump into a honest and truth boat will not succeed.
How are you going to apply your creativity to your plans in the short medium term and how is it affecting you?
Answer: Now it reminds me to qhen we started, so the best out of this crisis is that you are out there naked and you must think. We feel confortable being in that position, so we have applied different actions to start handling everything we have being doing. The way we need to face this is without money. Stores we are trying to go for click & collect, so we are reformulating the way they were. And, now is the best time to be more Brand than ever, because product it makes no sense at the moment.
We launched a promotion that people could select their price because it doesnt make sense that things are valued the same as before, so we are adapting to the situation. So we let people dedice what they want to pay for the shoes. The product should not be worth it the same.It is a good moment to start talking from the brand and the truth because product is not the most important thing.
The worst thing we could do is to complain, so we need to go out there, all together in the fashion industry put ideas together.