Chairish sees big days ahead for home furnishings resale market

Chairish released its second Home Furnishings Resale Report on Sept. 28.

SAN FRANCISCO — Opportunities abound in the home furnishings resale market, according to the latest figures from online secondhand marketplace Chairish.

The San Francisco-based purveyor of antique, vintage and secondhand home furnishings outlined its findings as its released its second Home Furnishings Resale Report on Sept. 28.

Total U.S. home furnishings spending grew from $372 billion in 2020 to $415 billion in 2021, according to GlobalData’s 2022 Resale Home Furnishings Market Research, and it’s expected to grow to $477 billion by 2027.

And while home furnishings resale in 2021 accounted for about $15 billion, Chairish expects its growth to continue at three times the industry rate in that same time frame, rising to $22 billion in 2027. Most of that growth will be seen in online channels.

“Over the next five years, there will be $22.2 billion of home furnishings sold through resale,” said Gregg Brockway, Charish’s co-founder and CEO. “Digital channels will make up a bigger share of that. A bigger slice of a growing pie is a great place to be.”

In the report, Chairish noted that 36% of consumers have bought secondhand furniture or homewares in the last year, and compared to the same timeframe in 2021, Chairish has seen an 85% increase in product listings in 2022.

“We’ve been doing this almost 10 years, and one of the biggest changes is consumer sentiment is moving toward resale being the new norm and mainstream,” Anna Brockway, Charish’s co-founder and president, said. “Ninety-seven percent of shoppers say there is no stigma in buying resale furniture.”

So what items turned heads in the past year for Chairish? Noel Fahden Briceno noted that Baker Furniture was the best-selling brand, while Henredon, Ralph Lauren, Ethan Allen and Knoll were also notable top-sellers. She said Ligne Roset emerged as the fastest-growing brand on the site, rising 151% in sales year-over-year.

Anna Brockway cited a handful of reasons why consumers might be more inclined to shop for resale furniture, including better value in the face of inflation, greater selection of unique items, faster fulfillment and greater availability, and it’s kinder to the planet.

On the fulfillment angle, Gregg Brockway noted that fewer links in the supply chain mean quicker delivery. “Resale is the simplest and often fastest way to address any design challenge,” he said. “Speed to living room is part of the value equation, and delivery time will continue to be a practical advantage. Even before the pandemic snarled the supply chain, it was already a long lead time.”

In terms of being kinder to the planet, Gregg Brockway noted that in 2021 Chariish offset 341 metric tons of carbon emissions, which he said is like recycling nearly 15,000 bags of waste or planting 5,672 trees.

Anna Brockway said the resale market and vintage furnishings runs counter to the popular trend of fast fashion furniture. She cited EPA figures that say Americans throw away 12 million tons of furniture and home furnishings per year and that 45% of greenhouse emissions come from manufacturing.

She cited a MacArthur Foundation study that says if more consumers purchase resale goods through the circular economy, by 2030 primary material consumption could be cut by 32%.

“We think about when you buy furniture, thinking about it from the long-term perspective and avoiding the fast furniture component,” she said. “There is increasingly buyer appreciation for brands that build with quality. Those pieces have a second life and a monetary resale value associated with them.”

See also: Profiles in Leadership: Anna Brockway, co-founder, Chairish