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Study: 1 in 4 Shoppers Will Gift Used Items This Holiday Season

As the resale market continues to expand, some holiday shoppers may be gifting recycled items this year.

In a new study, Deloitte found that more than 1 in 4 (27%) shoppers plan to give pre-owned items this holiday season.

The professional services firm found a generational link between plans to recycle, with 61% of Gen Zers embracing resale compared with only 13% of Baby Boomers. Around two in five (43%) millennials are thinking of regifting, while 25% of Gen Xers have plans to give pre-owned presents.

Fifty percent of those who said they would give pre-owned items as presents are doing so to save money. About one-quarter of respondents (24%) are hoping to afford luxury or premium products they wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise, while 13% see resale as an opportunity to be more sustainable.

According to a ThredUp report, the fashion resale market is growing 21 times faster than traditional retail. The resale market was worth $24 billion in 2018 and is expected to hit $51 billion by 2023, according to ThredUp data.

As resale expands, traditional retailers are moving into the category. In October, Selfridges launched a new partnership with Vestiaire Collective, with pre-worn items available in-store and online. Macy’s and JCPenney both teamed up with ThredUp this August, while Neiman Marcus took a minority stake in online consignment market Fashionphile in April. Neiman’s shoppers can drop off pre-owned pieces in-store, in exchange for a type of payment that can be used in its department stores.

However, even as re-commerce continues to expand, Deloitte found that 30% of consumers would be disappointed to receive a pre-owned item. Further, seven in 10 shoppers have no plans to give resale presents, citing worries about appearing cheap or not finding items in quality condition.

Deloitte forecasts a rise in U.S. holiday sales of 4.5% to 5%, compared to a gain of 3.1% in 2018.  Total revenues between the months of November and January are expected to hit over $1.1 trillion, versus $1.09 trillion recorded the previous year.

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