Beforehand liked: Consumers flock to second-hand luxurious style | Coronavirus pandemic Information
Covid-19 has made most shoppers cost conscious this holiday season, but those with money to burn can still find ways to indulge themselves. With retail sales generally suffering, luxury fashion – the way it has been – is flying off the shelves.
Peer-to-peer online luxury consignment store Tradesy has seen sales jump in recent weeks. Customers fill up with used high-end shoes, jewelry and handbags. The Santa Monica, California-based company typically doesn’t see a surge in purchases this time of year, said Tracy DiNunzio, chief executive officer of Tradesy. But 2020 is different.
Ring sales this month were up 92% year over year, DiNunzio said, with Cartier a customer favorite. Sales of Saint Laurent boots have now increased 36%. She attributes the increase in sales to the feeling of consumers that they are doing their part – to rely on sustainability in times of crisis.
The entire thrift market includes online resale and traditional thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army that are primarily (but not exclusively) offline. Overall, the market is expected to hit $ 80 billion by 2029, according to online reseller ThredUp.
As the pandemic closed brick and mortar stores, consumers found more options and better deals on resale markets. Even as stores slowly reopened in the summer, new customers continued to flock to their location, according to DiNunzio, and the demand for used luxury remained strong.
“The adoption of resale by these traditional luxury retail customers has really accelerated,” she said. “They are still very active and match or exceed our typical buyer profile.”
Founded in 2009, Tradesy started at the height of the financial crisis when buyers who initially turned down used fashion realized they could save money without sacrificing style. “It was a new mindset and it really marked the birth of the resale category,” said DiNunzio.
This time around, affluent consumers with disposable income are joining in. The economic uncertainty of the pandemic and the accompanying deep recession have also increased their focus on value.
“It’s a shift towards high-quality designer pieces that will hold their value over time,” DiNunzio said. “Customers are savvy and consider luxury purchases as an investment.”
Driven by ongoing brand awareness, meticulous craftsmanship and the hype surrounding a limited edition drop, designer items can be timeless status symbols with resale values that buyers can rely on.
Shippers of high-end sneakers and handbags have made great returns. The always-sold-out Louis Vuitton Pochette wallet costs an average of $ 1,300 at Tradesy, more than double the retail price. The resale value of Kanye West’s Yeezy Boost 350 increased 157% in online luxury consignment store RealReal Inc.
“Since everything is more casual, luxury items not only make buyers feel better together. That way you can treat yourself and know that you can make money with it later, ”said Sasha Skoda, head of women at RealReal.
Aside from buyers looking for a luxury item, younger used hunters are doubling down in the resale market.
According to ThredUp, Generation Z buyers are more than any other age group on the hunt for bargains. “They see no stigma in used clothing and care about sustainable shopping,” said Karen Clark, vice president of marketing communications at ThredUp. “It’s a way of showing their values.”
While there was criticism of fast fashion before the pandemic, Covid-19 accelerated the rollout of second-hand shopping and brought the role of circular business models to the fore in consumer awareness.
At RealReal, around a third of customers said they were shopping on the platform as a replacement for fast fashion, said Skoda.
“Fashion is one of the least sustainable industries on the planet,” said Michael Stanley-Jones, program manager at the United Nations Environment Program. “We have all become our own waste managers, hoarding fashion waste in our closets.”
Efforts to resell clothing to extend the life cycle – and ultimately reduce the environmental impact – are noble, according to Jones, but achieving sustainability goals requires more than just thrift.
“Of course consumer behavior will help, but that won’t make the difference,” he said. “Businesses, manufacturers, consumers and investors all need to be in sync.”