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A tale of two retail tiers: How luxury, discount retailers approach TikTok, physical stores, and resale

While mid-tier retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s struggle, discount and luxury retailers are seeing success as some consumers trade down amid inflation while others splurge to treat themselves amid tough times, respectively.

Something to TikTok about: Brands on both sides of the discount-to-luxury spectrum are using TikTok to reach younger generations, who are attracted to the platform’s short-form video content and commerce-forward strategy. But the ways in which they use the platform differ.

Luxury retail relies heavily on the experience. From white-glove service to curated collections, every luxury buyer wants to feel like a VIP. Achieving that on a platform of millions of viewers can be difficult.

To replicate that VIP feeling, luxury brands create content giving users sneak peeks into the world of luxury.

Discount retailers use TikTok to provide inspiration and help consumers stretch their dollars.

Let’s get physical: Brick-and-mortar retail is back as consumers return to stores for the in-person shopping experience.

Luxury brands are providing consumers with an ultra-curated, best-in-class experience.

  • With its new high-end “salon”-style stores, Gucci has set its sights on its wealthiest clients. “Nothing will cost less than $40,000, and it will go up to as much as $3 million for high jewelry,” said Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of parent company Kering.
  • Tiffany & Co.’s revamped flagship store in New York City will also cater to “a more elite clientele” and feature products at higher price points.

Discount and off-brand retailers are expanding at a rapid pace as they aim for accessibility.

Resale ready: We forecast total US resale volume will reach $110.92 billion this year, a 7.6% increase YoY, driven by increasing adoption among both consumers and retailers.

As consumers balance the cost of necessities with the desire to splurge, secondhand luxury is a sweet spot.

Traditional secondhand retailers are also taking advantage of growing resale adoption, moving their services online to reach even more consumers.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.