Is secondhand gifting a holiday disruptor?
According to Accenture’s “13th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey,” giving secondhand gifts is gaining broad acceptance. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents to the study said they would consider giving secondhand clothing as gifts, and even more (56 percent) would welcome gifts of this kind for themselves.
Accenture said the trend reflects the overall fashion resale and rental movements fueled by Rent the Runway, ThredUp, Poshmark and other marketplaces. Macy’s, Madewell and J.C. Penney are among a number of retailers that have partnered with resale marketplaces.
The greater openness for used gifting reflects increasing concerns about disposable fashion. A majority of respondents to Accenture’s survey also favored eco-friendly delivery options and packaging, including avoiding Christmas wrapping paper.
The two trends are related. ThredUP’s 2019 Resale Market Report stated that strong momentum in the resale market is being driven by Millennials and Gen Z who prioritize sustainability and clean fashion.
“Things are changing, especially among young people who try to be sustainable and want to be part of the circular economy,” Sucharita Kodali, at Forrester Research, told Bloomberg in an article exploring the used gifting trend. “Those are the ones that are not only going to be purchasing this stuff but going to feel good about buying it as gifts — and introducing friends and family to those brands as well.”
A new survey from the peer-to-peer selling app, Mercari, similarly found 61 percent of Americans comfortable receiving a secondhand item as a gift, with younger generations more open to the trend. Forty-nine percent of Americans aged 18-34 would give a used gift for a holiday present, while only 38 percent of those aged 55 and older would.
Beyond eco-reasons, secondhand gifting is seen as a way for some gift-givers to save money as well as to discover a unique gift for someone. Said John Lagerling, Mercari U.S. CEO, in a statement, “Store-bought gifts can be predictable and generic since there’s a limit to the variety provided at retail.”
- Most US Shoppers Expect to Spend as Much or More This Holiday Season than Last Year, with Many Turning to Physical Stores for Inspiration, Accenture Survey Reveals – Accenture
- Americans’ Gift-Giving Habits Changing With the Rise of Resale, Survey Shows – Mercari
- ThredUP 2019
- Used stuff is the next big trend in Christmas shopping – Bloomberg
- Are secondhand sales the right branding move for Neiman Marcus? – RetailWire
- Will consumers decide that buying less is better than buying ‘green’? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does it make sense that more consumers are open to receiving and giving used holiday gifts? Do you see the trend having an effect on holiday selling, and is it a positive or negative for retail?