The global used market, which includes resale and traditional savings, is expected to reach $218 billion by 2026, representing a 127% increase in growth over the next four years.
That’s according to ThredUp’s 2022 Resale Report, published in partnership with GlobalData, which measures the state of the global resale industry. In the United States, the second-hand market is expected to more than double by 2026, reaching $82 billion. Overall, resale is expected to grow 16 times faster than the U.S. retail apparel sector by 2026.
ThredUp, a leading resale platform, raised $168 million in its IPO last March and secured a valuation of around $1.3 billion. In July, ThredUp announced its intention to acquire Remix Global AD, a leading European fashion resale site, marking the start of its commitment to international expansion in Europe.
This 10th annual State of the Resale Industry Study from ThredUp also analyzed how rising consumer prices due to inflation caused more consumers to turn to second-hand options when it comes to clothing and accessories.
“When the world is uncertain, value is always in style,” said ThredUp President Anthony Marino, explaining why 2022 is expected to be the year with the strongest resale growth through 2026.
Consumer prices rose 8.3% in April from a year ago, according to the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number was down from 8.5% growth in March, which was the highest rate of inflation since the 12 months to December 1981, but was up from 7.9 % from February.
In the report, ThredUp cited a GlobalData survey of 2,000 American adults in April, which found that 44% of consumers said they were cutting back on their clothing purchases. 80% of consumers said they bought the same or more second-hand clothes and 25% said they would consider buying even more second-hand clothes if prices continued to rise.
Notably, ThredUp also pointed to the growing trend of traditional retailers expanding their resale capabilities. Nearly three out of four retail executives surveyed by GlobalData in another study cited by ThredUp said they currently have or are willing to offer second-hand options to their consumers.
“The next wave of resale is really being driven by brands and retailers,” Marino said.
ThredUp has been an active facilitator in the area of the transition from retail to resale. In 2021 alone, ThredUp oversaw 30 partnerships with retailers who used its resale-as-a-service program, though Marino said he expects that number to be 40 by the end. of 2022. ThredUp currently powers resale for Crocs, Walmart, Madewell, Vera Bradley, PacSun, Adidas and many more brands.
Other third-party reselling companies, such as Trove, also provide similar services to major retailers. As Marino pointed out, there are a multitude of reasons for a brand to facilitate the resale of its own products.
“It’s really an opportunity to generate more revenue by having a product that the customer wants,” Marino said. “The values are there, the sustainability is there. And brands that go into resale are also signaling to their customers that their products are good enough to sell used.
GlobalData also found that 88% of retail executives who offer reselling programs said it helped generate revenue.