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Tokyo | Part 2: Mercari Listing and the Second-Hand, Sharing, Rental Businesses

Jul 18, 2018.Ichiro KumegawaTokyo, JP
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 Another keyword is "reuse". For the largest flea market app, Mercari, their listing on the TSE Mothers since June 19 shows the tides are changing. Words like "sharing", "secondhand", "vintage", etc. have continuously lingered around for the past ten years but even with the gradual inclination in the market, Mercari’s listing was a decisive blow that created an even bigger force in the world of “used” items.
The second-hand trend is an existence that can no longer be ignored for large enterprises. World Co.,Ltd. recently acquired popular second-hand shop Rag Tag and the Onward Group is working towards their Onward Reuse Park in Kichijoji, Tokyo. Now that the conventional outlet market has reached its saturation point, consumer choices in purchasing reused second hand goods are forming the new market at a rapid pace.
The term "reuse" in Japan is associated with positive outlooks in being minimalistic or frugal which clearly shows the current modern consumer trend in the business system, but soon the rental business will become the next big deal. Rental services such as Renown Incorporated’s "Kirudake", Isetan department store’s new subscription service starting August this year and Stripe International Inc.’s "Mechakari" have all been adapting the new business model. Even World Co., Ltd. has acquired fashion rental service, “Sustina”.
Time and before, the idea of rentals or second-hand attained a bad rep simply because of the connotations ー worn by strangers, old, and unfamiliar was unsavory in the eyes of businesses who are looking to profit. No longer is there such conscious and the only way of survival is to join the bandwagon.
What’s common with all terms such as "just fit" (aka tailored) , "reuse", and "rental" is that it’s business model eliminates inventory. The achilles heel of all conventional fashion and apparel businesses is the maintaining of inventory.  Products that end up on sale invites suspicion on the true value marketed in the brand. It seems that the three keywords draws upon the conclusion that excess inventory is the biggest enemy of all.