Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research

For a Special Issue on

Second-Hand Shopping: Paving the way to transformative consumption

Manuscript deadline
02 September 2024

Cover image - The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research

Special Issue Editor(s)

Clarinda Jansberg, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University
[email protected]

Soniya Billore, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Second-Hand Shopping: Paving the way to transformative consumption

Second-hand shopping is conceptualised as “the acquisition of used objects through often specific modes and places of exchange” (Roux and Guiot, 2008: 66). This segment emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries, declined during the 20th century, and regained popularity during the 2000s (Padmavathy, Swapana and Paul, 2019) with the emergence of new formats of offline and online second-hand stores. Anecdotal evidence from extant literature provides support for second-hand shopping as an emerging form of consumption across all sections of modern society that is based on sustainable retail formats. This trend  promises to have an impact on the environment and the function of social responsibility (Aycock, Cho and Kim, 2023). Moreover, this retail trend is aligned with the twelfth goal of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framed by the United Nations which focus on consuming responsibly (United Nations, 2024).

Most of the studies on second-hand shopping focus on vintage shopping (Cervellon, Carey and Harms, 2012; Yan, Bae, and Xu, 2015), second-hand luxury shopping (Turunen and Leipämaa-Leskinen, 2015; Ki et al., 2024), the underlying motivations for offline second-hand shopping and consumption (Stone, Horne, and Hibbert, 1996; Guiot and Roux, 2010; Silva et al., 2020; Koay, Cheah, and Lom, 2022), and more recently on consumers´purchase behaviour of second-hand online stores (Padmavathy, Swapana and Paul, 20192019; Calvo-Porral, Orosa-González and Viejo-Fernández, 2024).

Wang et al. (2022) suggested that for consumers born in the 1990s and 2000s, second-hand shopping is primarly motivated by a sense of treasure-hunting and fun rather than the economic and environmental protection motivations associated with it. The often disordered or messy environments of second-hand stores are seen to affect consumer’s perceptions of finding hidden treasures while also intensifying the risk perception that can impact on value purchase likelihood (Ross, Bolton and Meloy, 2023). This is an interesting finding considering that previous studies discussed social embarrassment as a key barrier to buy second-hand clothing as it was typically associated with low-income groups (Koay, Cheah and Lom, 2022). On the other hand, a study on college students demonstrated that they perceive second-hand clothes as a means to express a vintage style, feel special about themselves, and being “green” (Yan, Bae and Xu, 2014).

Another direction of research on second-hand shopping posits that environmentally conscious consumers are more prone to shop at second-hand P2B platforms as it reduces consumption-related cognitive dissonance (Parguel, Lunardo and Benoit-Moreau, 2017). A study on luxury second-hand shopping demonstrated that consumers perceive online second-hand luxury consumption as a smart and sensible shopping choice (Ki et al., 2024). Buying second-hand luxury products does not entirely relate to social status, but it is also a way to shop wisely in a more environmental friendly way (Ki et al., 2024). These findings are aligned with Aycock et al.´study (2023) which shows that young adults prioritize novelty, fashionability, and the environmental and social impacts instead of affordability and price of pre-owned luxury products. Srividya, Atiq and Volety (2024) also show that modern consumers shop at fashion second-hand stores because it is cheap and affordable, as well as stylish, easy to perform and tempting. Lastly, a study conducted by Zaman et al. (2019) demonstrates that consumer orientations of second-hand clothing stores differ significantly. More precisely, consignment store shoppers and online shoppers are more prone to nostalgia and fashion consciousness compared to thrift store shoppers, whereas thrift store shoppers place more value on dematerialism (Zaman et al., 2019).

Consumers have growing concerns on consuming responsibly and retail brands are increasingly more willing to align their strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framed by the United Nations. The rise of the offline and online second-hand market is a way to offer consumers a more sustainable way of living. However, the question remains as to whether the existing second-hand retail formats meet consumer’s functional and experiential aspects of transformative consumption. Moreover, from the retailer’s perspective further discussions are needed as to whether, and how second-hand stores can capitalise on this growing trend of sustainable consumption and transformative behavior, by considering sex, age, ethnicity, wallet size, among other factors.

To address the increasing interest in second-hand shopping and to contribute to the existing discussions on sustainable retailing, we invite original research and in-depth conceptual papers on the topic, including but no limited to:

  • Transformative Consumption
  • Green, Sustainable and Ethical Consumption
  • Generational Cohorts
  • Brand Hate, Brand Love, Brand Polarization
  • Retail Brand Co-Creation
  • Retail Brand Experience
  • Digital Second-hand Shopping Ecosystems
  • Digital Second-hand Shopping Experiences
  • Multisensory Retail
  • Brand Image and Identity
  • Sustainable Innovation
  • Cultural Consumption of Second-hand Shopping
  • Cultural Aspects of Second-hand Stores
  • Second-hand Stores and Business Models
  • Atmospherics and Branding

Submission Instructions

Accepted papers are expected to become available online in 2015. All submissions will undergo a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Authors are encouraged to visit the journal website to know more about The International Review of Retail, Distribution, and Consumer Research. Manuscripts should be submitted via the Taylor & Francis submission portal, adhering to the standard submission procedure. Please make sure to meticulously review the submission information instructions for authors, which encompass structural requirements, word limits (8000 words), style guidelines, formatting, templates, referencing styles, and checklist. For any inquiries, expressions of interest, or questions regarding expectations and requirements, please do not hesitate to contact the special issue editors ([email protected] or [email protected]).

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article