I’m proud to unveil the Chairish 2021 Home Furnishings Resale Report, our first-ever study on the state of recommerce in the home industry.
When we started Chairish eight years ago, our focus on vintage and antique furnishings was motivated by our own personal passion for great, one-of-a-kind style. Over time we—along with millions of other design lovers—have come to appreciate the practical and environmental benefits of recommerce.
Today, millions of shoppers and small sellers have connected through Chairish, sharing exceptional vintage, antique, and pre-owned pieces and giving them a new home and second (or third) life. With over 500,000 items sold, Chairish has become an essential part of the circular economy.
On behalf of the larger Chairish community of sellers and buyers, we hope that you’ll agree that the best design is planet-friendly, and we invite you to consider vintage first when shopping.
Viva la Vintage!Gregg Brockway
CEO and Co-Founder
The Acceleration of E-Commerce: COVID-19 Spurs Online Buying Across Categories
Increased online consumer spending was spurred by COVID-induced store closures, capacity restrictions and consumer fear of transmission in public spaces.
$861B spent online with US merchants in 2020
+44% increase in spend since 2019
+3x the e-commerce growth from 2019
Supercharged Growth in Online Furniture Sales
Pre-pandemic, the furniture and homeware category was the fastest growing e-commerce segment as consumers warmed up to buying these products online.
During the pandemic, buyers became more comfortable buying big-ticket furniture items online, including desks, chairs, and sofas.
Furniture Spending by Channel
Online Furniture and Homeware Sales
127% By 2027, sales are expected to grow
The Rise of Recommerce: The Resale Industry Is Skyrocketing
Consumers’ spending habits have evolved, including the appetite for resale across every category. In 2020, 48% of Americans bought an item through resale.
Largest Resale Categories Worldwide
Consumers’ Fashion Resale Habit Moves To Home Furnishings
Pre-pandemic, fashion was the star of the resale market. In 2018, fashion comprised 49% of the resale market, with home furnishings accounting for a mere 11%. As the most developed of the resale categories, fashion introduced buyers to the benefits of recommerce.
In 2020, the home category suddenly became the fastest growing resale segment. While fashion remains the most popular sector of the resale market, Americans are now embracing similar secondhand habits when it comes to their homes.
Three Key Factors Moved Buyers Towards Resale
Resale Home Furnishings Market Growth
Over the next 5 years, the resale home furnishings category is projected to grow by a whopping 54%. That’s 3.5x faster than traditional retail.
E-commerce + Recommerce = Explosive Growth in Home Furnishings
Increased shopper comfort with buying furniture online and growing consumer appreciation for resale have translated into explosive growth for digital home furnishings recommerce platforms.
Among Millennial and Gen Z consumers, 31% report that the pandemic increased their interest in buying used, vintage, or antique furniture online.
Buying and selling secondhand extends the lives of your favorite pieces and keeps them in circulation longer.
As the US's leading online resale destination for home furnishings, Chairish's sales increased 60% in 2020.
Industry Insiders Agree On Shifting Consumer Habits
For now, circularity may seem like a fringe phenomenon, but it’s sure to become a bigger part of the industry in the years ahead, especially as younger consumers seek out a deeper level of engagement with the ethical impact of the products they buy.Business Of Home
The ‘circular economy’ can come across as a buzzword. Let us simplify it: just buy secondhand. The easiest way to do that online is with Chairish. 85% of the e-commerce site’s offerings are vintage.Vogue
Rising emissions and global waste are not new problems, but with the public health crisis and wide-scale disruption caused by Covid-19, sustainability took on new meaning for businesses and consumers across the globe in 2020.CBI Insights
Second-hand luxury is rapidly becoming mainstream. And it is not just the lower price that attracts these true-luxury consumers. It is often the only way they can buy scarce, limited-edition, special sold-out collaborations missed the first time, or vintage items.Boston Consulting Group
There are numerous reasons for the recent rise of resale, including: increasing awareness of online resale models, less negative stigma about buying secondhand goods and environmental benefits.Raymond James Financial
When you're looking for large pieces like couches and coffee tables, shop for secondhand and vintage options whenever you can. Giving previously owned furniture a second home extends its life span, getting as much use out of it as possible. Browse local thrift shops and antique stores in your town, or look online at sites like Chairish.POPSUGAR
The Fast Furniture Fiasco: How It’s Wreaking Havoc on the Environment
“Fast furniture” refers to mass-produced furniture that is made quickly, inexpensively, and often overseas. Most pieces are poor quality and are designed to last only a few years before ending up in the landfill. Though low priced, fast furniture comes at a high environmental cost.
Chairish puts the brakes on fast furniture.
550,133+ vintage, antique, and pre-owned items have been “re-homed” by Chairish since 2013.
The Circular Economy: Why Resale Is The More Sustainable Choice
Resale is at the core of the “circular economy”—the reusing, refurbishing, repairing, and reselling of items. Reselling extends an item’s life, thereby minimizing waste and avoiding the creation of something new, with all its associated environmental impacts.
Sustainability as a Growing Consumer Priority
Globally, shoppers have realized the environmental benefits of resale.
2/3 of buyers of pre-owned furnishings think resale will play a significant role in the future of sustainability
71% of buyers of pre-owned furnishings believe their purchase is better for the planet
Every Generation Expects Retailers And Brands To Become More Sustainable
The Furniture Supply Chain Snarl
Pre-COVID, the furniture industry already had a “long lead time” challenge. Purchases of newly made items could routinely take up to 8-12 weeks to arrive.
With the impact of COVID combined with extreme weather conditions, the lead time problem was exacerbated exponentially. The furniture supply chain worldwide suffered major disruptions due to:
- Factory closures
- Material shortages
- Transportation limitations
- Rising material, labor, and transportation costs
While lead times in the furniture industry are getting ever longer, consumers’ expectations for speedy delivery are also increasing, due to overnight shipping experiences in other categories.
“Designers who already favored vintage pieces to give their spaces patina and character are now shopping old for a different reason altogether. One-of-a-kind pieces are, by definition, in stock.”Business of Home, April 2021
Resale’s Availability Advantage
Pre-owned furniture offers the critical benefit of availability because:
- It already exists and is ready to ship. These items aren’t subject to material or production delays;
- It can be sourced domestically (and even locally) and distributed via a point-to-point model, reducing shipping times and minimizing the environmental impact of transportation.
Chairish offsets 100% of estimated carbon emissions from US shipping
Chairish and other online resale marketplaces foster a sustainable circular economy. We believe consumer interest in recommerce will continue to accelerate.Anna Brockway, CHAIRISH Co-Founder and President
Where is furniture resale going next? Consumers love the thrill of the hunt
Current Trends Indicate That Resale Will Continue To Grow exponentially
Not only are more Americans interested in reselling their furniture, but Millennial and Gen Z consumers are becoming especially enthusiastic about it as they come into home ownership and furnish their own spaces.
Top-Notch Resale Brands
These well-known names can retain much of their original value and may even provide a profit over time.
Most Loved on Chairish
These styles are some of our shoppers’ all-time favorite vintage finds.
As shoppers become more aware of the environmental impact of what they buy, they are turning to vintage and antiques as a replacement for short-time use furniture.NOEL FAHDEN, Chairish VP OF MERCHANDISING
Where Chairish Stands & Where We Go From Here
Chairish is committed to doing our part to create a more sustainable home furnishings industry. We're proud to have resold over 550,133 vintage, antique, and pre-owned items, and we’re just getting started.
Five Ways To Reduce Your Furniture Footprint
Choose previously owned products over new. You’re not only making a stylish statement, but a practical and eco-conscious one too.
If you do choose to buy new products, make quality and longevity a priority.
Resell pieces when you’re ready to move on and contribute to the circular economy.
Shop local when possible and choose brands with carbon neutral shipping to reduce the impact of transportation methods on the environment.
Repair or reupholster your pieces instead of disposing of them. It extends the life of your items and minimizes environmental impacts.
Home furnishings shopping survey in the US
The Chairish Recommerce Report includes research and data from Statista. Statista uses consumer surveys, official data, data sharing and secondary sources to analyze, model and forecast metrics including market size and share. Statista conducted a survey in 2021 of 3,485 Americans regarding recommerce in the furniture and home goods retail market. Additional sources include internal Chairish community data and independent secondary research.
Definitions & Sources
Categories are defined as follows:
- Previously owned, but made within the last 30 years
- Made within the last 30 to 100 years
- Made over 100 years ago
- Previously Owned (pre-owned)
- Includes used, vintage, and antique
- Includes used, vintage, and antique
- Home furnishings
- Include but not limited to: kitchenware, furniture, bedding, decor, books, art, rugs and lighting
- Home goods
- Include furniture and home furnishings
- Include furniture and home furnishings
- The Circular Economy
- The reusing, refurbishing, repairing, and reselling of items
- The selling of previously owned, new or used products through physical or online distribution channels to buyers
- Resale Brands
- Chairish evaluated brands sold on its platform based on demand and overall value
- Most Loved
- Chairish evaluated items on its platform to determine pieces that were most popular based on demand
- Home Furnishings Shopping Survey in the US, 2021
- 1. Online survey in an Access-Panel, national representative
- 2. Online survey among Chairish customers
- Baker Tilly
- US Furniture and Home Furnishings Market and Projected Growth, 2021
- Internal Chairish Report
Other Reports & Articles Referenced
- Market Share of the Retail Resale Market Worldwide in 2017, by Product Category; September 23, 2020
- Digital Commerce 360
- US Ecommerce Grows 44.0% in 2020; January 29, 2021
- Retail E-commerce Sales Worldwide from 2014 to 2024; July 7, 2021
- Consumers Are Warming Up to Purchasing Furniture Online; June 15, 2018
- Amazon Plans Furniture Assembly Service to Catch Wayfair; April 16, 2021
- McKinsey & Company
- Survey—US Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Crisis; May 13, 2021
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Durable Goods: Product-Specific Data | Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling; 2021
- Resale Report 2020; June 23, 2020
- Used Furniture is About to Become a $16.6 Billion Business; May 5, 2021
- Columbia Climate School
- How Buying Stuff Drives Climate Change; December 16, 2020
- Recommerce Report 2021; March 30, 2021
- Scientific Reports
- Carbon Emissions Embodied in Product Value Chains and the Role of Life Cycle Assessment in Curbing Them; 2020
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- The Circular Economy In Detail
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, 2021
- First Insight
- The State of Consumer Spending: Gen Z Shoppers Demand Sustainable Retail; January 2020
- The Wall Street Journal
- The U.S. Furniture Industry Is Back—But There Aren’t Enough Workers; December 4, 2019
- For More Info
All third-party brand names and logos appearing in this Chairish Resale Report are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective holders. No brand owners endorse or sponsor this report or have any association and/or affiliation with Chairish.