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British secondhand furniture market grows

The British market for used furniture is experiencing significant growth, a trend highlighted by major retailers like IKEA offering secondhand furniture through their "Second Chance" buy-back service in the UK. GlobalData, a prominent data and analytics company, forecasts substantial expansion in the furniture resale sector in the coming years, surpassing the overall furniture market growth.

Photo © Ralf Broskvar |

The anticipated trajectory, as outlined in GlobalData's latest report titled "UK Sector Series: Furniture Resale Market, 2022-2027" projects a 40.8% surge in the furniture resale market between 2022 and 2027. This growth trajectory is estimated to reach a value of £1.101 billion (€1.27 billion), outstripping the expected 7.9% growth in the broader furniture market during the same period.

Sophie Mitchell, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, attributes this market surge to a range of factors. She notes the emergence of key players like Rehome and Vinterior alongside furniture giants such as IKEA, expanding their offerings to include resale options. Mitchell emphasises these entities are effectively stimulating the resale market by better addressing evolving consumer expectations compared to traditional antique and charity shops.

The study reveals that 26.5% of consumers are considering purchasing furniture through resale outlets, indicating a growing acceptance and accessibility of the market.

Particularly, the 24 to 34 age demographic stands out, accounting for a significant 10.7% share of furniture purchased through resale outlets last year. Mitchell highlights that this segment is expected to be a driving force behind the future growth of the furniture resale market. Younger consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious about the impact of new products and face challenges in a demanding housing market.

Factors like mortgage rates averaging at 6% – considerably higher than the last decade – and a 73% surge in the average house price in the UK between January 2013 and January 2023 contribute to the rising significance of the resale market for home furnishing. Especially for first-time buyers, tighter budgets are a prevailing concern when investing in homes.

To capitalise on this growing market, Mitchell suggests that retailers must streamline the purchasing process, mirroring the ease of buying new furniture. Detailed product information, transparent product conditions, precise location details, and comprehensive alerts are crucial in encouraging consumers to embrace furniture from resale outlets.


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