Long before the economic downturn, resale had a sizable footprint in the U.S. retail market with over 25,000 resale, consignment, and thrift shops doing business. What may or may not be surprising is that despite the continued slumping of the U.S. economy, resale has maintained a growth rate of five percent per year over the last three years.
People from almost any economic status seek out resale shopping. However, only 16 to 18 percent of Americans shop at a thrift store during a given year, according to America’s Research Group, a consumer research firm. The clustering effect transcends retail and always has, but resale retail is beginning to embrace clustering in somewhat of an organic effort to create resale retail destination shopping. Resale merchants are banding together to take advantage of and leverage each other’s traffic.
They work together because resale merchants offering different products still find a common customer due to the similar nature of their respective businesses. A common marketing message has even emerged from the diverse network of resale merchants: We are progressing from a disposable society to a recycling society, and resale is a great way to recycle. One of the first resale models in the United States was a children’s resale clothing store.
It holds true that kids clothes remain one of the most common items sold at resale businesses in the U.S. Quite often, such a business is started by mothers with mountains of slightly used children’s clothes that they know still hold value. It can be a low cost business to start up, but the margins and profit potential of sole proprietors selling used children’s clothing is often equally low.
For the consumer, these stores can provide excellent value, if you can locate a brick and mortar business near you. If you cannot, a large number of children’s retail clothing stores are now going online.