Second hand retailers aregrowing rapidly in Southern California. According to a new reportfrom CBRE, thrift store and re-sell stores haveincreased square footage by 51% since 2010 in the region. SouthernCalifornia, however, isn't alone. These retailers have been growingnationwide, with a total of $28 billion in 2019 alone, and anexpectation that sales will double to $51 billion by 2023—barringof course any setbacks from the current corona virus pandemic.


"From a retail perspective, this concept is gaining momentum dueto the lack of pressure from e-commerce as well as the singularoptions that second-hand retailers offer," MottiFarag, senior associated at CBRE, tells "Eachindividual second-hand retailer offers its own unique set ofproducts, goods and apparel. Also, customers are often able to findgreat deals, which elevates their overall shopping experience.Shopping at second-hand retail stores is also experiential becauseof the excitement associated with finding an item that is trulyone-of-a-kind in today's market. The lack of pressure frome-commerce is due to the low price points associated with thereused products that are found at a second-hand retailer."


The spectrum of re-sell brands can be expansive—from vintage andantique store to the Goodwill. In general, second hand storesinclude any stores that sell items that are used. "Second-handapparel retailers are defined as a retail store which sells goods,primarily apparel, that are not brand new," says Farag. "The goodsare purchased from individuals who are interested in selling ordonating products and soft goods to retailers who can resell thoseitems for reuse. Second-hand apparel gives customers theopportunity to recycle older items that they have outgrown or nolonger need. Reuse is a virtuous cycle that reduces pollutants andwaste build-up."


The most popular brands seeing the most rapid expansion inSouthern California include Buffalo Exchange and Ecotown. "Goodwillis the most known name and has a large market presence," saysFarag. "Buffalo Exchange is another company with stores across 20states, and Ecotown is a company out of Japan that is looking toaggressively expand in the US. They have over 900 locations open inJapan and hope to have 300 stores in the United States by2030."


These retailers are looking for locations with good visibilityand parking, but even for owners with spaces that fit the mold,signing these tenants can be a challenge. "Landlords are facingchallenges with older leases that restrict second-hand stores orthrift stores," says Farag. "However, in centers that allow for theuse and depending on the co-tenancy, there is mutual interest,particularly in junior-sized anchor spaces, which are the morechallenging sized spaces to lease."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.