The rental and resale industry in the U.K. is now worth nearly £7 Billion, according to the latest research from Barclays.
The size of the recommerce industry has ballooned as more and more British consumers are embracing a sustainable lifestyle amidst a challenging economic environment. Just last year, Brits spent over £5.92 billion buying secondhand products and another £1.07 billion on rentals instead of purchasing brand-new products.
Barclay’s research indicates that in the coming years, U.K.’s recommerce industry is projected to continue its growth trajectory, with 44% of Brits buying more secondhand products today than they did last year and 57% indicating that their circular shopping habits have remained consistent.
A key factor that is pushing more consumers to show interest in rentals and resale is the high cost of living. Sixty-two percent say that the high cost of living makes them assess their purchases, up 19% year-on-year. Another important reason is a desire to embrace more sustainable shopping habits, with 43% of shoppers saying so and 22% saying rentals and resale options help them access designer products that are out of reach.
One demographic group that is leading the broader shift toward rental and resale is Gen Z shoppers. Thirty percent of Gen Z shoppers believe wearing pre-loved products is more fashionable, and 31% say it helps them own clothes and accessories that other people their age are likely to own.
The rising demand for pre-loved fashion has also come with a shift in merchants’ attitudes, with many brands and retailers actively investing in recommerce technology.
“Activity within this sector contributes significantly to the U.K. Economy, and our research highlights that merchants are increasingly taking interest in facilitating more sustainable and cost-effective shopping methods for consumers, actively investing in new technology as well as offering recycling or reselling platforms and services,” Barclays said. “Our data demonstrates just how beneficial this can prove to revenue and income streams amidst a challenging economic climate.”