Mallzee aims to bag more sales via online fashion app

Fashion app Mallzee has rolled out a new feature that will let users buy from multiple online retailers in a single transaction.

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Mallzee founder and chief executive Cally Russell. Picture: Neil HannaMallzee founder and chief executive Cally Russell. Picture: Neil Hanna
Mallzee founder and chief executive Cally Russell. Picture: Neil Hanna

The app, which has been downloaded more than one million times, has been described as the Tinder for fashion, enabling customers to browse, compare and buy clothing and accessories from hundreds of high street brands.

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Mallzee founder and chief executive Cally Russell said the Edinburgh-based firm developed the new feature, called Bag, to fill a gap it had identified in the online retail market.

“Users have always loved that we bring hundreds of retailers together in one app and Bag just makes it easier for them to buy from more many retailers at once,” said Russell, who launched the company in 2013 after becoming frustrated with the online shopping experience while looking for jeans.

He added: “We know that other marketplaces use third parties to offer multiple-retailer single-transaction purchases, but none of these included an extensive list of participating retailers, so we decided in order to offer the best consumer experience we would develop our own version in-house.

“Mallzee includes the largest range of fashion retailers and brands in the UK and more are joining weekly.”

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Since its launch, the firm has raised more than £3 million from investors including the Royal Mail Group. It has also secured backing from Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, the investment vehicle of Marie Macklin, the entrepreneur spearheading the Halo regeneration project in Kilmarnock.

Russell, the son of Scotland’s Brexit minister Mike Russell, was featured by Forbes in its inaugural “30 Under 30” guide, recognised for his contribution to retail and e-commerce. The University of Dundee graduate appeared on the BBC show Dragons’ Den in 2015 and turned down a £75,000 offer from Peter Jones in return for a 20 per cent slice of Mallzee.

However, he went on to strike a deal with technology giant Samsung and secure a £2.5m cash injection from Royal Mail and other investors including the Scottish Investment Bank and Gareth Williams, the chief executive and co-founder of Skyscanner, the Edinburgh-based travel search engine acquired by Chinese giant last year in a deal worth about £1.4 billion.

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Earlier this year, Mallzee launched two tools aimed at helping retailers improve their marketing and buying. Product Intelligence highlights how each item within a range is being rated against industry standards, while Product Future lets stores test potential lines with Mallzee users before placing stock orders. Russell said the fashion industry has a “one trillion dollar problem” with discounting and stock ordering, but better data on consumers can boost its profits.