The luxury goods industry runs on inspiring a distinct sense of quality, tradition, and exclusivity, and the shopping experience has an integral part in communicating this. Conventionally, physical stores that connect luxury consumers with brand experience, offering a high degree of personalization through clienteling, have been the main sales channel for this end, and the industry’s transition into digital and online selling spaces has come later than the mainstream fashion industry. But the luxury consumer is changing. They are getting younger with more affinity to shop, get inspired, and share online. They pay more attention to social and environmental matters, all of which in turn inform their shopping habits. The trend in resale and second-hand is one of the more recent responses from the industry to the changing face of luxury. While it is still less than four percent of the overall market, according to Statista estimates, second-hand luxury has the potential to become more relevant in the future, growing at a rate of eight percent from 2022 onwards.
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There is little question that making luxury goods available second-hand makes the industry more accessible and affordable, but one of the leading reasons to buy pre-owned luxury products has to do with the negative environmental impact of the overproduction in the fashion industry. Sustainability concerns contributed to the main motivations of both buyers and sellers of second-hand luxury. The conviction that buying luxury goods via second-hand channels was sustainable was stronger in younger consumers. In a survey conducted with affluent consumers, those under the age of 40 strongly agreed that buying second-hand was a sustainable choice. In the same survey, just below half of luxury consumers also said they currently actively bought pre-owned luxury goods.
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