USA ranks first for thrift shoppers

Category: Data & Insights
USA ranks first for thrift shoppers

Public Desire conducted research to identify the countries where second-hand shopping is the most popular. The study is based on metrics such as the number of thrift stores/charity shops in each country, the resale market size as well as the annual growth of second-hand businesses, retrieved from the data available in IBIS World, Statista, and as well as the official websites of each country.

To identify the public’s integration in the market, the study also identified the percentage of the population who purchased or sold second-hand clothes at least once, and the number of searches of thrift shops across the web in each country. The final score and ranking were determined taking into account all the metrics mentioned.

CountryNumber of thrift storesResale marketAnnual Growth% of population users (purchased at least once)SearchesScore
USA28,849$39 billion11%93% online, 16-18%  in thrift shops3,110,000100
United Kingdom4,082$3,3 billion27.20%70%41,30041.31
Sweden2,097$8.81 billion2.04%75%23,30036.71
Netherlands4,326$622 million4.7 %73%20,50032.41
Japan483,000$18 billion3.60%30%30,40030.4
Germany11,600$3,1 million-1.10%75%100,00026.59
Canada2,823$2.6 billion1.90%50%242,00023.12
Denmark404$90 million-0.2 %84%10,70019.1
Austria1,000$440 million1.90%85%7,90016.32
Belgium2,263$500 million-1.50%49%6,20012.68
Norway354$95 million3.90%43%5,3005.98

The USA tops the list with the best second-hand clothes culture in the world. It ranks the highest not only with an impressive 3,110,000 online searches for thrift shops but also with the biggest resale market valued at $39 billion. The USA has 28,849 thrift stores, second on the list. Notably, 93% of the population is engaged in online second-hand shopping, making the USA a leader in this sector.

Ranking second, the United Kingdom has a thriving thrift market worth $3.3 billion, supported by 4,082 thrift stores. With the highest annual growth rate of 27.2% and 70% of the population participating in second-hand purchases, the UK shows a significant increase in sustainable fashion practices.

Sweden is third with a second-hand market valued at $8.81 billion, in the top three on the list. With 75% of the population having purchased second-hand items at least once, and with a steady annual growth of 2.04%, Sweden shows an excellent second-hand culture.

In fourth place, the Netherlands features 4,326 thrift stores and a resale market valued at $622 million. With 73% of the population engaged in second-hand shopping and a healthy annual growth rate, the country demonstrates a growing thrift culture.

Japan ranks fifth, standing out with the highest number of thrift stores, totaling 483,000. The country’s resale market is valued at $18 billion, second in the list. Although only 30% of the Japanese population participates in second-hand shopping, Japan’s extensive network of stores indicates a great culture of thrift.

Germany, in sixth place, has 11,600 thrift stores and a market worth $3.1 million. Despite a slight 1.10% decline in annual growth, 75% of the population remains active in second-hand shopping, highlighting a strong cultural commitment to sustainable fashion.

Ranked seventh, Canada’s second-hand market is valued at $2.6 billion, with 2,823 thrift stores. The country has the second largest number of people searching “Thrift shops near me” at 242,000 online searches. Along with 50% of the population participating in second hand shopping practices, Canada showcases a significant interest in sustainable shopping.

Denmark is in eighth place, with 84% of the population engaged in second-hand shopping. It highlights a strong cultural preference for sustainable fashion despite a smaller market size.

Austria ranks ninth with the highest percent of population engaged in thrift shopping at 85%. The country has more than 1000 thrift shops, and 1.90% of annual growth tied with Canada, demonstrating a strong cultural inclination towards thrift.

In tenth place, Belgium’s commitment to sustainability is evident through its substantial market size at $500 million, supported by 2,263 thrift stores. About half of the population is engaged in second-hand clothing purchases which ensures the country’s potential to becoming more sustainable.

Norway rounds out the list at eleventh, with 354 thrift stores and a market worth $95 million. With 43% of the population engaged in second-hand shopping, Norway reflects a growing interest in sustainable fashion practices.

The rise of second-hand shopping is a testament to a global shift towards sustainable consumerism. As shown in this study, countries like the USA, the UK, and Japan are leading the way with impressive numbers in both market size and public participation. This growing trend not only reflects a conscious effort to reduce waste and promote sustainability but also highlights the economic benefits of a thriving resale market.

– Public Desire

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