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Retailers are responding to rising prices with expanded recommerce offerings

By Rachel Douglass


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Vintage clothing hanging on a rack. Image: Unsplash

New research by Barclaycard Payments has found that retailers have been introducing more “sustainable” ways to buy and sell products and services, as consumers become increasingly conscious over their spending.

In its new report, the payment provider said that seven in 10 of the businesses surveyed were now offering recycling, renting, reusing or reselling options.

While over a third had introduced more “sustainable” ways to shop to provide more affordable offers, 44 percent said they had done so to reduce their own environmental impact.

In response to the growing rental demand, Barclays said 40 percent of surveyed retailers had already adopted a rental model, with 61 percent having set one up last year alone.

Of those that had introduced the circular model, 90 percent reported that they had seen an increase in revenue, with the majority also stating that they had seen their rental consumer base grow.

Increase in resale, decrease in returns

Reselling was also being well implemented, with 39 percent of retailers also now offering reselling options to allow customers to purchase second-hand items.

Within the categories that were most popular among consumers, jewellery, designer clothing and designer handbags were among the top five for both pre-loved purchases and rental items.

Other clothing categories that made the list were suits and wedding dresses.

As circular shopping models rise, Barclays said that, in contrast, return rates were decreasing, with 56 percent of retailers reporting a drop in the past year, as opposed to the months in lockdown.

Over a third of retailers attributed the shift to consumers making more mindful purchases, while others said the behaviour could also be due to cost-of-living issues and the increase in resale platforms.

In the report’s release, Linda Weston, managing director at Barclaycard Payments, said: “The ability to launch new sustainable shopping options at pace, and under challenging circumstances, demonstrates how agile British retailers continue to be.

“It’s the businesses who diversify and adapt to the shifts in consumer demands that will be best placed to thrive, especially as the cost-of-living impacts consumer spending and the world becomes more environmentally conscious”