Amazon’s UK Country Manager, John Boumphrey, revealed that the demand for refurbished and pre-owned goods has turned into a billion-pound business for the e-commerce giant in the UK and across Europe. The trend of consumers opting for second-hand items is attributed to rising prices and borrowing costs, coupled with a growing desire for sustainable shopping.
In 2022, Amazon sold over 4 million used or refurbished products in the UK alone. The sales of second-hand goods in the UK saw a notable increase of more than 15% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Boumphrey emphasized that customers are opting for second-hand items not only to save money but also to contribute to sustainability efforts.
The UK launch of Amazon’s “Second Chance Store,” a Christmas pop-up shop selling returned and refurbished items, aligns with the company’s goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Despite this sustainability focus, Boumphrey expressed frustration about the regulatory changes in Europe, particularly in the UK, raising concerns about the visibility needed for future investments. He highlighted potential challenges posed by the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers Bill currently under consideration in the UK parliament. Despite these concerns, Amazon has invested a substantial £56 billion in the UK since 2010, including £12 billion in 2022 alone.