Report: 8 in 10 British retailers see revenue boost from resale or rental

The survey was conducted by Barclaycard Payments in partnership with Development Economics to assess the uptake of recommerce – defined as buying, selling or renting pre-owned products.

Of the retailers surveyed, 46% now provide a platform for customers to resell previously purchased goods and 27% are considering implementing this kind of offering.

The uptake of resale platforms to date has been particularly strong in the entertainment and electronics category, as well as in fashion and home goods. Most of these platforms only cover products from the initial place of purchase and do not cover the resale of items from other brands.

Additionally, 18% of the retailers polled have run at least one swapping event to enable customers to exchange items, while almost one-third (31%) have introduced a repair service to help customers extend the life of their items.

The survey findings form part of a wider report that also estimates the size of the UK’s total recommerce market.

It is estimated that some 49,000 jobs across the UK are attributable to recommerce and that the recommerce economy in Britain generated almost £7bn of revenue over the past 12 months. This is equivalent to 1.6% of the UK’s total recommerce market.

The survey notably found that half of the retailers which had invested in new technology to support recommerce had done so in the past three years, with this steep uptick linked to shoppers’ increased focus on sustainability and to budget constraints amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Promisingly, 82% of the retailers that had already implemented a recommerce offering had seen a revenue boost from doing so. The survey covered a mix of large, medium and small businesses.

Development Economics’ economic development manager Steve Lucas said: ““Recommerce is already creating important economic influences across the UK, currently supporting 49,000 jobs directly.

“Retailers are also reporting an increase in revenue since introducing product rental options, and these benefits will only continue to grow as consumers increase their purchasing of second hand items.”

Related feature: Could 2023 be a tipping point for second-hand tech sales?

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