Harvey Nichols teams up with Reflaunt to launch luxury resale service

Upmarket department store group becomes latest retailer to join secondhand clothing trend

Last modified on Mon 9 Aug 2021 12.30 EDT

Harvey Nichols is joining the secondhand resale trend this month via a partnership with the specialist service Reflaunt.

Customers will be able to resell luxury handbags, fashion, accessories and watches, earning up to 80% back of the original price, when the items are resold through a Reflaunt-run space on the upmarket department store’s website.

Items can be dropped off in Harvey Nichols branches in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh or Leeds, while Reflaunt’s concierge service will pick up the goods up from London addresses. From September, shoppers outside the UK will be able to use the service with complimentary shipping.

Manju Malhotra, the chief executive of Harvey Nichols, said the partnership would offer customers “a circular model of consumption and ensure luxury fashion items are given the longer lifespan that they deserve”.

The luxury resale market is growing rapidly as consumers try to be more environmentally conscious about their purchases and chase bargains.

Global sales are predicted to grow an average 12% year on year, compared with 3% average for the core luxury market, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group and resale site Vestiaire Collective.

The change in behaviour has been spurred by interest from shoppers, particularly younger people, and companies’ ethical commitments through schemes such as the UK’s Textiles 2030 action plan.

The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, according to a report published by the UN Environment Programme and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The report suggests the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions could surge more than 50% by 2030.

Selfridges opened its first permanent space dedicated to secondhand clothing in 2019, in partnership with Vestiaire Collective, and fellow London department store Liberty also has a permanent vintage section. The online luxury goods retailer Farfetch has reported huge growth via its Second Life resale service.

Luxury brands are also getting in on the act with Ralph Lauren launching “Re/Sourced” and the handbag label Mulberry refurbishing and reselling its used products online.

Young people have driven the trend, spurring the growth of the specialist website Depop, which was bought for $1.6bn by US online marketplace Etsy this year. Vinted, a rival site created by two Lithuanian women in 2008, was valued at €3.5bn (£3bn) in a fundraising in May.

The trend has also hit the mainstream with Asda testing out secondhand clothing in 50 of its supermarkets, while Ikea and the sports retailer Decathlon have recently launched resale services.

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