US Circular Shopping: Resale and Rentals Market Report 2022
“Consumers’ shifting sense of ownership, increased focus on value, and desire to behave more sustainably are contributing to the rise of circular shopping. While there are barriers and challenges to…

US Circular Shopping: Resale and Rentals Market Report 2022

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This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the circular shopping market in the US including US Circular Shopping: Resale and Rentals market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Circular Shopping: Resale and Rentals market in the US.

Current market landscape

Over the last year, 41% of consumers purchased secondhand items, up from 38% in 2019. The sector is emerging from the pandemic stronger than it was before. The value found shopping secondhand together with the option to make some money selling items make this sector appealing to consumers, especially, at times when economic factors are uncertain.

Future market trends in the alternative shopping options market

With inflation rising and ongoing supply chain disruption, consumers will turn to resale to save and find access to goods that may be unavailable to buy new. Hence, brands and retailers that offer circular shopping options will be better prepared to cater to consumers’ needs and preferences.

However, the rental market may face additional challenges as it continues to recover, as consumers might opt to buy cheaper (from secondhand), instead of paying for a rental and/or risking access to goods in the future (due to inventory challenges).

Despite the challenges, consumers’ interest in both rentals and resale continue to increase, especially among younger generations. This indicates the potential for the growth circular shopping options have and the opportunity these represent to reach younger audiences.

Read on to discover more about the US Circular Shopping: Resale and Rentals consumer market, read our Consumers and the Economic Outlook – US – Winter 2022 report, or take a look at our other Retail market research reports.

Quickly understand the secondhand items market in the US

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the circular economy.
  • Items acquired and drivers behind circular acquisitions.
  • Reasons for using alternative shopping options.
  • Attitudes toward resale and rentals.

Covered in this report

Brands include: The RealReal, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, ThredUp, Depop, What Goes Around Comes Around, Vestiare Collective, RentTheRunway, 1stDibs, Hodinkee Pre-Owned, Swimply, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Nike Refurbished, Madewell Forever, Nuuly Thrift, Nuuly Rent, URBN, Circular ReSource Lab, The Black Tux, Goodbuy Gear, Grailed, H&M, Verstolo, Lululemon, CaaStle Inc., Reformation.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Marisa Ortega, a leading analyst in the Retail and eCommerce sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis on the circular shopping economy in the US to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers’ shifting sense of ownership, increased focus on value, and desire to behave more sustainably are contributing to the rise of circular shopping. While there are barriers and challenges to overcome, secondhand shopping, rentals, and resale of personal items will become more adopted by both consumers and brands in the years ahead.

Marisa Ortega, Cross-category analyst
Marisa Ortega
Retail and eCommerce Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Circular shopping outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Test new business models to recruit new customers
    • Resale platforms can look to expand product offerings
      • Figure 2: Expansion to new categories by The RealReal
    • Take control of the brand
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Landscape

    • Resale sustains its momentum
      • Figure 3: Circular shopping participation – pre-pandemic versus amid pandemic, 2021
    • Peer-to-peer marketplaces dominate the space
      • Figure 4: Retailers shopped, 2021
  4. Market Factors

    • Rising prices will benefit the secondhand market as consumers look for affordability
      • Figure 5: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2020-2021
    • Resale withstands supply chain woes
      • Figure 6: Introduction of Hodinkee Pre-Owned
    • The sharing economy continues to evolve
      • Figure 7: Pool sharing by Swimply
    • Technology is essential to circular shopping
    • Close the loop on consumption
  5. Competitive Strategies

    • Madewell works with thredUp to open secondhand shops
      • Figure 8: Circular Store by Madewell and thredUp
    • URBN debuts Nuuly Thrift
      • Figure 9: Introduction of Nuuly Thrift by Urban Outfitters, Inc
    • The RealReal releases an upcycled collection
      • Figure 10: Upcycled collection by TheRealReal
    • Jean Paul Gaultier unveils a rental platform
      • Figure 11: Vintage and rentals by Jean Paul Gaultier
  6. Market Opportunities

    • Reinvigorate stores with circular offerings
    • Engage consumers through celebrity belongings
      • Figure 12: Resale microsite by Olivia Rodrigo
    • Take advantage of the wedding surge and season
      • Figure 13: Partnership by The Black Tux and David’s Bridal
    • Leverage social commerce
      • Figure 14: How to wear by Rent the Runway
  7. The Consumer: Fast Facts

  8. Key Audiences

    • Circular shopping popularity is increasing; led by Millennial males and parents
      • Figure 15: Circular shopping participation, 2021
      • Figure 16: Vintage sneakers by Grailed
      • Figure 17: Goodbuy Gear offers marketplace for used baby and kid items
  9. Circular Shopping Acquisitions

    • Consumers continue to focus on their homes
      • Figure 18: Circular shopping acquisitions, 2021
    • Younger adults are redefining the concept of “new”
      • Figure 19: Circular shopping acquisitions – select categories, 2021
      • Figure 20: ONE/SECOND/SUIT by H&M
    • Hispanic consumers complete the look from secondhand
      • Figure 21: Circular shopping acquisitions – select categories, by Hispanic Origin, 2021
  10. Shopping Drivers

    • Value is the most appealing attribute to consumers, particularly among older generations
      • Figure 22: Circular shopping drivers, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 23: Diamond rental by Verstolo
    • Parents have various motivations to shop alternatively
      • Figure 24: Circular shopping drivers by parental status, 2021
  11. Interest in Circular Shopping Options

    • Circular shopping options are coming to the fore, driven by young generations
      • Figure 25: Interest in circular shopping options, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 26: Like New resale program by Lululemon
    • Black and Hispanic consumers are the most interested in circular shopping
      • Figure 27: Interest in circular shopping options by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 28: ThredUp leverages user-generated content to reach new customers
  12. Motivations for Using Circular Options

    • Brands and services can look to attract consumers in multiple ways
      • Figure 29: Motivations to shop alternative options by gender, 2021
      • Figure 30: TURF Analysis – Motivations to shop alternative options, 2021
    • Younger Millennials want a high-quality shopping experience
      • Figure 31: Motivations to shop alternative options – select motivators, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 32: Rental program by Rebecca Minkoff
  13. Attitudes toward Secondhand Shopping

    • Tackle consumers’ concerns to keep the momentum going, especially among Millennials
      • Figure 33: Attitudes toward secondhand shopping, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 34: Trash to treasure by Reformation
    • Help fathers enjoy the shopping experience
      • Figure 35: Attitudes toward secondhand, by parental status and gender, 2021
  14. Attitudes toward Reselling

    • Encourage consumers to resell items by streamlining the selling process
      • Figure 36: Attitudes toward reselling, by household size, 2021
      • Figure 37: TheRealReal encourages sellers by communicating commission
    • Give consumers the tools and knowledge to sell
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward reselling, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 39: Tips for sellers by Poshmark
  15. Attitudes toward Renting

    • Consumers need to get comfortable with the idea of renting
      • Figure 40: Attitudes toward renting, by gender, 2021
    • Flexibility is key to appeal to Millennials
      • Figure 41: Attitudes toward renting, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 42: Vacation wardrobe by Rent the Runway
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  17. Appendix– The Consumer

      • Figure 43: Interest in circular shopping options – renting, 2021
      • Figure 44: Interest in circular shopping options – reselling, 2021
      • Figure 45: Interest in circular shopping options – buying secondhand, 2021
      • Figure 46: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2020
    • Online Panel Discussion
    • Pros and cons of buying secondhand
    • Resale drivers
    • Pros and cons of rentals
    • Rentals drivers
    • Barriers to circular shopping
    • The role of pricing
    • Supply chain disruption
    • Circular gifting

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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