High Demand for Second-hand: A Qualitative Study on Challenges and Opportunities Faced by Second-hand Clothing Retailers
Sammanfattning: The second-hand market has been subject to a lot of change in recent years. New actors with disruptive business models have entered the market, changing consumer perceptions and altering market conditions. In line with this, the general demand for second-hand clothing has risen, possibly because of the increased awareness surrounding sustainability and the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry. Previous literature has exclusively focused on the consumer perspective, primarily in an offline setting, investigating shopper motivations and attitudes towards second-hand. This study aims to look at the second-hand clothing market from a retailer perspective, investigating three main areas of interest: (1) market conditions, (2) digitalization and (3) sustainability. A qualitative study was conducted by interviewing actors on the Swedish market, covering different typologies of second-hand retailers. Findings show that the increase in demand for second-hand is not just a trend but a shift in consumer behaviour, that the entry of new actors is positive for all actors on the market, that securing sourcing is challenging as it is based on consumer donations or consignments, that maintaining an attractive assortment is crucial in order to compete with first-hand actors, that traditional second-hand actors feel pressured to expand into online channels, and that it is challenging for smaller second-hand actors to ensure climate-conscious transportation. To meet the challenges of this fast-growing market, second-hand clothing retailers can implement the winning attributes of a resale-based concept, incentivize customers to donate or consign their used clothes, and partner up with larger platforms in order to grow online.
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