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Resale market

StockX enters Korea's resale market, poses threat to domestic platforms

StockX to shake up Korea's resale scene which has been led by Naver's Kream and Musinsa's SoldOut

By Sep 28, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

StockX enters Korea's resale market, poses threat to domestic platforms


The rapid growth of the resale scene in South Korea has driven the world’s No. 1 resale platform, StockX, to venture into the country, signaling fierce competition among domestic players including portal giant Naver Corp.'s sneaker resale platform Kream and fashion e-commerce platform Musinsa's resale platform, SoldOut.

On Sept. 27, StockX announced plans to launch its services in Korea as it set up a product authentication center in Gyeonggi Province. This marks StockX’s fourth Asia-based operation following its forays into Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. 

StockX is currently the world’s leading online resale platform, having logged around $1.8 billion worth of transactions.

The company's strength lies in its rich offering of around 120,000 types of products alongside its vast network of 200 million users, allowing buyers to connect with sellers across the globe and purchase products that aren’t sold in Korea whereas domestic platforms only offer products sold locally.

Previously, items purchased from StockX would be shipped to Korea after being processed via the authentication center in Hong Kong. But now Korean consumers will have easier access to StockX, which will provide a Korean won payment system and Korean language services.

Musinsa's SoldOut is a popular sneaker resale platform in Korea
Musinsa's SoldOut is a popular sneaker resale platform in Korea


STOCKX VIEWED AS A THREAT TO DOMESTIC RESALE PLAYERS

In the beginning, the resale market was led by sneaker enthusiasts wanting to trade limited edition sneakers. But recently, the resale scene has emerged as an investment method for people in their 20s and 30s. 

According to StockX, the global resale market for limited-edition sneakers is likely to account for about 15% to 25% of the sneakers market by 2025. Also, the global resale market, which was valued at around 2.4 trillion won ($2 billion) in 2019, is estimated to reach 8 trillion won by 2028.

Currently, the domestic resale market hovers around 500 billion won ($422.6 million).

StockX had been eyeing Korea given the country’s market potential. Over the past year, Korean consumers’ purchases via StockX rose by 134% compared to the year-earlier period. 

StockX entering Korea is expected to shake up the domestic resale market, which is currently divided by the country’s major resale platforms, Kream and SoldOut.

Recently, the domestic resale platforms have been expanding their business as they prepare to compete against the strong newcomer. Earlier in August, Naver’s Kream acquired a popular online resale community, Nike Mania, for 8 billion won to solidify its lead in the domestic sneaker resale market.

In May, Musinsa spun off its sneaker resale platform SoldOut to create a subsidiary named SLDT and raised 10 billion won from investment firm Dunamu.

Meanwhile, the e-commerce industry is paying close attention to whether StockX will be able to thrive in Korea considering that other major platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and eBay have had limited success in localizing their businesses.

Write to Jeong-cheol Bae at bjc@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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