Matt Heiman: "Millennial want access to luxury"
Dior or Saint Laurent: Matt Heiman has them all. With his startup, the Brit lends out luxury bags in London. At the GDI Retail Summit and in an interview, he explains why subscriptions are the business model of the future, even in the luxury market.
Renting is for those who cannot afford buying – correct?
Not necessarily! What drives each of our customer segments to engage with Cocoon is hugely different and ranges from our circular approach to our convenient service and accessible luxury price point (for £99, Cocoon provides members access to brands reflective of their style and taste, not their level of disposable income).
In pandemic times, using items others have used before might cause hygiene concerns. How is Corona impacting your business?
We have no reason to believe that attitudes towards rental have changed. Consumers have had time to reflect, review their closets and rethink their wardrobe needs; and will likely make more conscious, considered purchases. Further, we expect that consumers will become increasingly savvy and selective about how and where they spend their money, and therefore see Cocoon as an even more appealing option.
How important was it for you to launch your service in the urban context of London? And where are you headed next?
We've seen remarkable growth in the circular space in London and in the UK generally. This is now considered a proven business model and we’re thrilled to be one of the first to market. Looking ahead we’re planning to expand internationally – there is definitely demand in selected EU markets and in the US.
Other online players have built offline stores. Will Cocoon ever follow this path?
Right now, we are a website. We look forward to building our technology offer to service the specific needs of our members as we grow with our community. While we have no plans in place to build an offline experience, never say never! Ideally, we would start this via key partnerships.
Where do you see the future of luxury?
The industry is moving towards access, curation and experience. The millennial that has access to everything, naturally believes that luxury should be an extension of that. The winning players will be focused on what's next. At Cocoon we are challenging traditional definitions of luxury, however, we are doing so with a sensitivity and a respect for the industry and what it stands for.