Luxury retail and resale don’t traditionally go hand in hand, however the luxury retail market and second hand market are intersecting more than ever before - and is expected to keep growing.
High-end fashion labels have long assumed that secondhand sales of their products has a negative effect on their brand value, but there are good arguments to be made to the contrary - here's how we see it.
1. A healthy resale market assures consumers that new items they buy will have long-term value. Buyers are becoming more confident about purchasing luxury first-hand items since they know that over time they can get back a significant amount on the original cost, or even make a profit. Shoppers therefore see the purchase as an investment.
As an example, the price of a pre-owned Hermès Birkin bag has generated an annual return of 14% over the past 35 years.
2. Second hand pieces can serve as a more accessibly priced gateway to the brand. This is especially relevant as luxury consumers are getting younger (and more diverse). Young people with potentially entry level salaries are now able to buy designer pieces which will strengthen their relationship with a brand - and hopefully brand loyalty.
It can also be argued that more shoppers are selling the luxury items they no longer use, in order to raise funds to buy first-hand goods.
3. Embracing the resale market gives brands more control over the quality of their products that are being resold. Counterfeit products are a huge issue in the fashion industry and it's difficult for brands to take action against and prevent this from happening. The second hand luxury retail market indirectly means brands have more control over the quality and authenticity of their products that are being resold.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...
More and more luxury brands have identified this business opportunity and have jumped on the resale bandwagon through various strategies.
Luxury group Richemont entered the resale market by acquiring Watchfinder; a platform where you can research, buy and sell pre-owned watches. Another example is online fashion marketplace Farfetch that bought American premium sneaker and streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods.
Stella McCartney have partnered with The RealReal to extend the lifecycle of luxury items and make a positive impact by promoting the circular economy in fashion. They are offering customers who consign with The RealReal a $100 credit to shop at Stella McCartney stores with.
Ganni has adapted another approach by launching their rental service Ganni Repeat.
We’re on a mission to become circular and increase the lifecycle of our clothes wherever we can.- Ganni
Four Seasons Recruitment have partnered with an established resale brand and provides temporary Sales Assistants to a pop-up in a prestigious department store in London. If your boutique or concession requires temporary or permanent retail staff you can send us your requirements here and we will get back to you within 24 hours.