Second-hand, the new network bonanza

15 March 2023

King Jouet, Fnac-Darty, Kiabi… Many retailers are turning to second-hand goods with corners or store concepts dedicated to second-hand goods. An overview of these new models

9 billion euros in sales by 2021! Buoyed by changes in society and inflation, the second-hand market in France is booming. And the figures will continue to soar, with Xerfi estimating that the sector will be worth 10 billion euros by 2025.

This is good news for long-established brands such as Cash Express, Cash Converters, Happy Cash and Easy Cash. ” Second-hand has become a major trend. 20 years ago, this type of consumption was reserved for people of limited means. Today, everyone buys second-hand. It’s become commonplace,” says Kevin Fischer, Development Director of Easy Cash (130 stores). He adds: “On average, our outlets have sales of 1.9 million euros, up 20% on three or four years ago”.

Ready-to-wear seeks new impetus with second-hand products

This new windfall has given rise to envy. As a result, many retail players are now looking to enter the second-hand market. Among the most active are household appliance specialists (Fnac Darty, Boulanger, etc.), as well as ready-to-wear networks, eager to give new impetus to their business, which has been weakened for several years.

For example, Kiabi, a Mulliez Group chain, has set up second-hand clothing corners in around 80 stores in its network. Within a year, the group expects all its French stores to offer a similar space, where items are sold at 40% to 80% less than new. At a press briefing last January, Patrick Stassi, the group’s CEO, announced the opening of a new concept, Les petits magasins, dedicated to second-hand and rental vehicles. “We’ll have ten second-hand Petits Magasins open by the end of 2023, and hope to have 100 by 2030, bearing in mind that the products on offer are 70% cheaper than the original price, and that these outlets target families in priority neighborhoods,” he said.

In the same vein, Petit Bateau is also interested in second-hand clothing. In 2021, the retailer has launched the collection of second-hand clothes in points of sale, which are then resold in in-store corners. By 2022, some 15 second-hand corners had been installed.

Corners or dedicated stores: the toy industry tests alternatives

The toy sector is also testing different models. The Jouet Club network deploys corners in its outlets, while King Jouet has taken the gamble of creating dedicated King’Ocaz stores. “The first pilot was launched in May 2022 near Valence. Six other stores were opened in September 2022. They offer new (70%) and second-hand items (30%),” explains Patrick Jocteur Monrozier, King Jouet store division manager.

Customers bring in their items, which are appraised and even reconditioned, and the company resells them at 50% of the new price. “We’re still in the testing phase, as it’s not easy to find the right business model. To date, second-hand products account for 20% of sales in King’Ocaz stores. We need to double that to be profitable,” continues Patrick Jocteur Monrozier. The company is also working to enhance the presentation of its products in transparent boxes (they are currently packaged in kraft paper bags), and to run sales campaigns to introduce customers to the concept. If the test is successful, the company plans to offer the model to new affiliates.

Hard-to-find business models

Because that’s the problem! The market may be juicy, but its implementation is complex. “It’s a business that requires a change of mindset for traditional retailers. We don’t sell new like we sell used. This requires tools, logistics, human resources and a high level of expertise,” warns Kevin Fischer of Easy Cash. Between collection, sorting, repackaging, estimating, shelving, repackaging… the steps are numerous, time-consuming and costly.

To make things easier for itself and professionalize its model, Kiabi has joined forces with the Patatam platform. The thrift shop collects the clothes and redistributes them to the points of sale. Large food retailers such as E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Auchan, Cora and Casino are also keen to offer second-hand corners in their stores, and have no hesitation in teaming up with specialists in the sector. Easy Cash has set up corners in more than a dozen Cora stores and others at Casino. “We develop partnerships with them. We’ve been in the business for years, and we know the rules and customs,” concludes Kevin Fischer.

Découvrez la newsletter 100% franchise

Je m'abonne à la newsletter