UK households turn to secondhand and resale in cost-of-living crunch
A staggering seven million-plus UK households are looking to the resale or secondhand markets to buy goods as prices and inflation rocket.
A report by Retail Economics and Squire Patton Boggs, seen by Retail Week, reveals a major shift in customer behaviour is particularly prevalent among Millennials (25-44 year-olds) and Gen Z-ers (18-24 year-olds), with 30% and 28% of respective respondents buying more resale or secondhand items.
Not only is the cost-of-living crisis changing the way customers are shopping, it’s also altering where they spend their money. One-third are consciously looking to switch to cheaper brands/retailers, while 25% will do more online research and use price comparison tools before buying.
And 68% of all ages plan to spend less on non-essential items this year. Some 29% will stop buying non-essentials, especially among less affluent households.
But Millennials and Gen Z are less likely to cut back on experiences such as holidays and dining out, compared to over-45s.
On a more positive note, consumers are unwilling to compromise when it comes to a brand’s ethical stance. Some 78% of consumers say they wouldn’t switch to a cheaper brand if the company’s values weren’t aligned to their own. And over two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers considering ethical and environmental credentials an important factor when choosing where to spend.
In some ways, this makes it different from previous difficult economic times when many consumers abandoned ethical principles in favour of the cheapest price.
The report also showed consumers have higher service expectations post-pandemic and 24% are prepared to pay more in return for a better/more memorable shopping experience.
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