As shoppers everywhere tighten their belts, luxury loving Chinese customers are looking to second-hand stores to satisfy their desires for designer goods.
Second-hand outlets including Hong Kong's Milan Station and Japan's Brand Off are popping up all over the Asian nation. These outlets offer a more refined shopping experience than pawnshops, although these are also still popular amongst shoppers seeking out second-hand bargains.
Chinese shoppers once saw second-hand goods as lower in quality and status. The practice of buying preloved goods was even seen as shameful. However the current slow economy and changing consumer attitudes has seen gently used fashion items embraced.
Most fans of second-hand shopping are young women with a limited budget. However, second-hand stores have also proved popular with wealthier customers. These cashed-up consumers generally seek out preloved limited edition handbags and other rare fashion items, such as Hermes Birkin bags. What a great way to avoid those wait lists!
Both Brand Off and Milan Station are looking to capitalize on the changing Chinese marketplace with new stores around the country. It's hoped these stores will squeeze out knockoff outlets capitalizing on the legitimate second-hand chains. With names like Milan Fashion, Guangzhou Milan Station, and Milanstation, these shops sell designer replicas rather than authentic second-hand goods.
Do you shop second-hand, or are you a sucker for a brand new bag?