Young shoppers seeking trendy vintage pieces at a superior quality are rushing online to snap up second-hand items from Marks & Spencer’s St Michael label on eBay and Depop.
Second-hand pieces from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties have become hugely popular with young British fashion lovers, with more than 14,000 St Michael pieces listed online.
Many of the items have held or increased in value since they were originally on sale in M&S stores, with vintage expert Hannah Stacpoole telling the Telegraph: ‘It is common knowledge though among traders that St Michael items are long lasting and great quality. It is incredible to see the quality considering they were sold at high-street prices.’
It comes weeks after M&S announced it will axe 7,000 jobs as part of a further shake-up of its stores and management in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
Young shoppers are snapping up vintage bargains online from Marks & Spencer’s former label St Michael, which was discontinued in 2000 (pictured left, a dress which sold in the Seventies for £5.99 and now on Ebay for £49.99; right, a gown which sold for 90 shillings in the Seventies and now on Ebay for £24.99)
Vintage experts revealed the items have become increasingly popular in recent months thanks to their high quality and long-lasting nature (pictured, a pussybow blouse which was sold for £17 in the Seventies, now on Ebay for £20)
Vintage experts believe young shoppers are drawn to the St Michael brand because of it’s high quality and the longevity of the clothing
The St Michael pieces, all of which boast of being over 20 years old, are considered genuinely vintage by online shoppers.
Many have held their value or been boosted by those attracted to second-hand shopping.
While a pussybow blouse which cost £17 when originally sold is now listed online as selling for £20, a prairie dress which was £5.99 in the Seventies is now selling for £49.99.
Meanwhile it’s not just eBay shoppers who are snapping up bargains, with hundreds of listings for St Michael on the Depop app.
One seller on Depop selling a vintage St Michael shirt for just £10 hasthagged her post with high street brands like Topshop and New Look to catch the attention of shoppers
Vintage experts said some younger customers aren’t even aware that the second-hand St Michael items are actually from Marks&Spencer (pictured left, a shirt for sale for £10, and right, a colourful cardigan for £16)
Sellers even hashtag their posts with high street brands like Weekday, New Look and Topshop in order to attract shoppers to the ‘vintage’ St Michael brand.
Hannah, who is the founder of salutolondon.com, an online vintage store, said she had seen a recent uptick in sales of the brand.
She credited the increase in part to a growth of Instagram or Depop sellers that have emerged during lockdown and helped by sustainable shoppers seeking quality second-hand clothing at an affordable price.
Sellers even post restyle and sell clothing from the men’s St Michael range to capture the attention of young shoppers (pictured, a vintage trench coat selling for £55 on depop)
She added: ‘I often have younger customers who are unaware that the two are the same brand.’
Meanwhile the vintage expert explained that young shoppers are particularly seeking current trends, such as slip dresses, velvet jackets and pussy bow blouses.
And Jennifer Mitchell McNally, owner of Liverpool’s Overdressed Vintage boutique, agreed, saying the items are ‘of the utmost quality.’
Many of the items cropping up on websites like eBay and Depop are trendy pieces, including colourful tea dresses and floral midi gowns (left, a dress listed on eBay for £99, and right, a dress selling for £20)
Experts said young shoppers, many of whom don’t even realise the St Michael label was an M&S brand, have flocked to the trendy pieces including slip dresses and velvet jackets (pictured, a jacket on sale for £19 in the Seventies is now on Ebay for £23)
The pieces range in price, with some items selling for as little as £20 and others fetching up to £100 (pictured left, a wool winter coat currently selling for £80 on ebay, and right, a grey vintage dress for £20)
Fears of job losses due to the COVID-19 crisis
It has been predicted some 6.5 million jobs in total will go in the UK because of the coronavirus disaster.
It has led to calls for a targeted support scheme for the sector amid concerns the Government’s action will not be enough to save jobs or specifically help or retrain those in retail who have lost their roles.
The Government’s furlough scheme for workers comes to an end in October and while it has launched the back to work bonus, offering firms £1,000 for every furloughed staff member a business retains, there are fears thousands more retail jobs axed.
She added: ‘Whenever I source some, they’re never in stock for long.’
The St Michael brand, which was originally registered in 1928, was discontinued by M&S at the end of 1999 after its profits had dropped by 50 per cent that year.
The upsurge in demand for the vintage label comes after Marks & Spencer revealed it will axe 7,000 jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The London-based retail giant revealed the bulk of the cuts would be made across its stores, hitting around 12 per cent of its 60,000 shop-based staff, as well as a smaller number of support centre and regional management workers.
M&S, which employs 85,000 people worldwide, expects a ‘significant’ number of roles will be cut through voluntary departures and early retirement.
It had already begun a significant restructuring before the pandemic hit, shutting under-performing stores and boosting its online sales.
The coronavirus outbreak has now accelerated those plans.
It comes as M&S revealed total sales in its hard-hit clothing and home arm plunged 29.9 per cent in the eight weeks since shops reopened.
The upsurge in demand for the vintage label comes after Marks & Spencer revealed it will axe 7,000 jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic