Resale

Retail execs are more willing than ever to offer resale: report

Nearly three in four retail execs say they already offer—or are open to offering—secondhand apparel to their customers, according to ThredUp’s latest resale report.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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The verdict is in: Retailers know consumers want to shop resale and they’re willing to invest the resources to help them do so.

Nearly three in four (74%) retail execs say they already offer—or are open to offering—secondhand apparel to their customers, up 14 percentage points from 2020, according to ThredUp’s latest resale report with GlobalData.

What’s making the sell? The report, published today, predicts that the secondhand market in the US will double to $82 billion by 2026.

  • In 2021, resale saw a 58% YoY bump in sales growth, the largest in half a decade. Plus, the report projects that half of secondhand $$ will come from online resale by 2024.

“A customer who may love a brand, but maybe can’t afford it new or maybe just wants to try it out and experiment, it may be an easy point of entry to buy used,” Anthony Marino, president of ThredUp, told Retail Brew.

Marino added that resale is now a deliberate sales strategy, given that 78% of executives say their customers are already shopping via the channel—up from 62% in 2020.

Under review: For the 26% of retail execs that aren’t set on resale, the report highlighted four perceived barriers to entry: 1) getting stakeholders to buy in 2) a lack of proven return on investment 3) misalignment with brand narrative and 4) cannibalization of new product sales.

  • However, concern in these four metrics all dropped from 2020 to 2021, probably helped by the fact that 84% of execs now say they understand the resale market more now than they did three years ago.

“They have a choice. Either they’re going to put their head in the sand and say, ‘Well, my customers are doing it anyway, but I’m going to act like if I ignore it, it will go away,’” Marino said. “Or they can say, ‘Hey, if customers are going to be trafficking in my brand’s product secondhand, I want to control that narrative. I want to control the experience.’”—KM

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