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Depop opens first bricks-and-mortar location in Los Angeles

Depop, a popular online marketplace for vintage fashion, is opening its first bricks-and-mortar location in Los Angeles, California, this week, as it continues to blur the line between e-commerce site and social network.

The 1,000-square-foot (approximately 93-square-metre) space will serve as a retail store, pop-up shop, event space and studio-for-hire, where Depop sellers can shoot the clothes they are selling.

The space will open in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles this Thursday, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

“We want people to be able to showcase and promote their own work,” Depop founder Simon Beckerman told the Times. “It’s a place where we could give back to our creative community that reflects the vibe of the area.”

Beckerman, who also co-founded PIG magazine and the Retrosuperfuture sunglasses brand, started Depop in 2013 as a social network where PIG readers could buy items featured in the magazine. He later reenvisioned the app as a global marketplace for “vintage” fashion – all items on Depop are at least 20 years old – after realising users wanted a selling function of their own.

The London-based company’s social roots are still evident today, with Depop often described as a mash-up of Instagram and Ebay. As Depop’s then-CEO Runar Reistrup told TechCrunch in 2015, users are as likely to use the app to comment on posts and converse with other users as they are to actually buy something. Many attribute the app’s success to its strong social offering.

Depop now has more than eight million registered users, primarily Gen Z and millennials, and is looking to ramp up its presence in the US, where sales more than doubled in 2017. Another bricks-and-mortar location is set to open this year in New York City’s Chinatown, with further spaces planned in Milan and London.

The company in January raised US$20 million in a Series B round led by British venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures, with participation from TempoCap, alongside several existing investors, to fund the offline move and invest in technology.

Depop’s current growth is part of a larger trend that has seen re-commerce apps such as Poshmark, the Real Real, Vestiaire Collective and ThredUp gain more mainstream appeal.

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